Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I know the thing you've always wanted in your life is Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding.

This used to be one of my very favourite things ever a few years ago; it's out of Food & Drink magazine, which is, as I've mentioned before, the best food magazine ever. It's a little involved since you have to make banana bread first, but totally worth it. Also, this is probably the most delicious banana bread I've ever had / made, so it's something to make even if you don't want to go whole hog with the pudding.

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

Banana Bread
1/3 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp ground flax
1/3 c Earth Balance, room temp
1/2 c sugar
1 c mashed banana (about 2 large)
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c roasted chopped pecans (optional; I don't like nuts in banana bread so I just add another 1/4 c chocolate chips instead.)

Bread Pudding
1 carton Silk French Vanilla (I'm sure plain would be fine)
1 can full fat coconut milk
2/3 c sugar
1 tbsp ground flax
6 oz chocolate chips or chopped semi sweet chocolate
1/2 c mashed banana (1 large)

For Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking dish.

Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar and flax. Beat the earth balance and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the milk mixture, banana and vanilla and beat together. It will look a bit curdled and gross, so don't expect it to come together. I promise it will be delicious. Sift in the flour, powder, soda and salt; stir until just combined. Add the chocolate chips (and nuts) and stir until well dispersed.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly; bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until it tests clean. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool the rest of the way. When it's fully cool you can commence the pudding part.

For Pudding

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking dish and then line with parchment so that it comes over the sides a bit too (makes for easy, pretty presentation when you can pull it out in one piece).

Put the coconut milk and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Let come up to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 15 or so minutes, until reduced to 1 c of liquid. (At this point, put your chocolate into a medium bowl). Turn the heat down to low and add the creamer and flax and let it come up to a simmer. Turn it off and then strain it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Stir in the mashed banana. Let the chocolate cool; cut up the banana loaf into roughly 1" pieces and put into a bowl. Pour the chocolate over top and press the pieces of bread in, then let it sit to soak for about 15 minutes. Pour it into your prepared dish. Place the dish into a larger dish and pour about 1" of hot water into the larger dish. Place in the oven and bake for 55 - 60 min. Take out of the oven, remove from bath, and allow to cool fully before refrigerating.

To serve: you can eat it right from the fridge, at room temp, or warm. It's not finicky. A dollop of some sort of whip might be tasty, or maybe even a splash of creamer. We ate ours warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave, without any cream because I didn't think to buy any.

If you don't eat this for next Christmas breakfast, you're going on the naughty list.

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