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Time to get creative! Breakfast Bread Pudding… this one’s chocolate chip banana :)

January 25, 2011

Good evening all!

I realize I might lose some of you with this one… I’m told creative cooking isn’t for everyone.  Well, why not embrace it just this once!?  Bread pudding is a great way to start.  This is the general method I use every time I make the stuff, and I let it soak overnight so that its all ready to bake in the morning.  Bada bing… its a total snap!

My husband LOVES when I make bread pudding for breakfast.  (And I love it too… it couldn’t be easier or more delicious!)  The thing is… I only make it when the stars are perfectly aligned for me to do so.  What does that entail?  Well, it means I have leftover bread (preferably french bread from Panera, it’s the best in this), it means I have heavy cream I’m trying to get rid of, and it means I have some excuse to cook breakfast (normally its a granola bar in the car.)  And that’s it!  If I have those three things (plus a few eggs), I can use whatever else I have on hand to create something irresistable.

Tonight the stars were aligned.  I had about a quart of heavy cream leftover from making ganache for the pencil cake.  I had a few french baguettes in the freezer leftover from the last time we got “Soup for a Group” at Panera.  And I had an excuse… my husband’s buddy Travis is spending the night with us!

Try this sometime… you’ll get some serious praise.  Ready?  Let’s get crazy 🙂

The essential components of bread pudding are eggs and cream and bread.  So I grabbed some cream, some eggs, some maple syrup, and a banana.  (You can use any other fruit you like… maybe blueberries or raspberries, or even raisins.  Mmmmm.)

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Then I cracked four eggs into a medium-sized bowl and whisked em up.

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Then I whisked in some of the heavy cream (about enough to triple the volume of the eggs.  Is that just, like, totally vauge??  Ok… we’ll go with 2 cups.)

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Now for some flavorings.  Pour in about a teaspoon of vanilla (just eyeball it!)

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Add in a pinch of cinnamon…

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Then a slightly smaller pinch of nutmeg…

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Want to know what this is?  This is more creativity, my friends.  This is leftover honey from a snack-size container of Greek yogurt.  I used the yogurt in a batch white chili some time back and saved the honey for just such a time as this!

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This contains about 1 1/2 tablespoons, so I just dumped it on in there for a little sweetness!

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Then for a little more sweetness… I added a few good pours of pure maple syrup.  (I’ll be serving more of this on the side tomorrow morning.  Like you would with pancakes!)

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And then for a final touch of sweetness, and for added depth of flavor, I added a few spoonfulls of dark brown sugar.  YUM.  This stuff really is just over-the-top good (the bread pudding, not the sugar.  I’ve never eaten plain brown sugar.)

(Did I mention I was supposed to be making royal icing tonight as homework for my decorating class.  Yeah, didn’t do that.)

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AND because nothing (hear me, NOTHING) is quite complete until you’ve added just a pinch of salt… I added a pinch of salt.

(This goes especially for sweets people!  Don’t be one of those bakers who leaves the salt out of your chocolate chip cookies.  It is oh-so-necessary for their full flavored deliciousness.)

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Perfect!  The liquid part is done.

The next step is to have some stale bread cubed up and toasting (drying out) in the  oven.

Here’s mine!

(Bread pudding is the perfect way to use bread that would otherwise get thrown away.  So making it makes you thrifty like the Italian ladies!)

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While the bread is cooling off… butter a square baking dish.

And after the bread has cooled off a bit… just empty it into the egg/cream mixture and press it around so it’ll start soaking up that yummy goodness.

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My flavorings of choice tonight were banana and mini-chocolate chips (always a winner in the Casey household.)

Just slice up a banana!  (I like small chunks, personally.)

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Then just toss in a handfull of mini chocolate chips (or change it up!  Chopped white chocolate… pecans… the world is your oyster!)

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Gently fold in the special ingredients you chose… then pour the whole mess into the baking dish.

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Then just cover it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge til morning.  It’ll bake for 30-40 minutes so just make sure you wake up in time to stick this in the oven.  I’ll probably stick it in and then get my makeup, hair, & clothes all done… and by the time I’m done it’ll be time to eat!

(I’d just like to declare that I haven’t touched Diet Mt. Dew since before Thanksgiving.  I’m mighty proud of that accomplishment.  So there it sits in my fridge all lonely, waiting for someone to drink it.)

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The next morning when you wake up… it’ll be time to bake and savor this little beauty of a dish!  Just take it out of the fridge and give it a little stir to moisten up the bread pieces that sat on top of the liquid during the night.  Then pop it in a 375-degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

When it comes out, it’ll look a little something like this!  Puffy, moist, and smelling like sweet simplicity 🙂

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Just cut yourself a hefty slab and drizzle lightly (or heavily if that’s your fancy) with maple syrup!  This is basically like French Toast times ten.

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It’s good enough to eat, I tell ya!

So good, in fact, I had it for breakfast AND lunch.  Shhh… don’t tell my husband (he’s on a New Years diet.)

Believe me. You want to make this at home.  Try it this Saturday 🙂

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