As part of the Foobuzz Tastemaker program, I received a coupon good for a loaf of Nature's Pride bread to enter a recipe for a chance to win accommodation and airfare to the Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco. Were I to win, I would become an ambassador--and I figure that's the only way I'd ever be appointed to an ambassadorial post. Last year I entered a savory dish, so I thought I'd try a sweet dish this year.
Nature's Pride bakes a variety of different breads. While I prefer their Nutty Oat for sandwiches, the Country White was an obvious choice for an homage to Elvis.
I originally intended to enter a coconut custard bread pudding with mango topped with my coconut caramel sauce. Although people who tasted it seemed to like it, I felt the mangoes didn't stand out enough. It was good, but not great.
Elvis Presley was famously fond of peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He would die for this bread pudding. Incorporating the King's favorite combination, it employs the Indonesian technique of first grilling one side of the bread lightly spread with butter and a sprinkle of sugar (Indonesians would use Blue Band Margarine instead of butter). The toasted slices of bread are then spread with a mixture of peanut butter, bananas and palm sugar (brown sugar will do). The slices are cut into cubes, placed in individual ramekins or a larger baking dish into which a lightly sweetened custard is poured. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla icre cream and the warm chocolate caramel sauce, this is a bread pudding that will have you saying, "Thank you. Thank you very much".
Peanut Butter and Banana Bread Pudding
4 slices of Nature's Pride Country White Bread
2 TBS butter
4 tsp white sugar
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, crunchy style
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup palm sugar, or light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6 3/4 cup ramekins, lightly buttered
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Spread the slices of bread with the butter and sprinkle with sugar. Grill on a hot grill about 1 minute, rotating the slices 90º to get nice cross hatching.
In a bowl, stir together the peanut butter, bananas and palm sugar. Spread the mixture on the toasted bread. Cut each slice into 3/4 inch to 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes loosely into the buttered ramekins.
In a small saucepan, scald the half and half. Stir in the sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add a small amount of the half and half to the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Add the remaining half and half mixture while continuing to whisk. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the custard mixture into the ramekins. Push the cubes of bread into the custard mixture. Allow to sit for five minutes before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned and the custard is just set.
Allow to cool briefly before upending the ramekins onto serving plates. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the chocolate caramel sauce.
Chocolate Caramel Sauce
(Adapted from Joy of Cooking)
1 cup golden brown sugar
1 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao bittersweet chips)
Melt sugar, stirring constantly. Stir in butter and heavy cream. After you have smooth caramel, remove the pan from heat and stir in chocolate. The heat from the caramel sauce should be sufficient to melt and incorporate the chocolate.
Oh, and just ignore those rumors about how much Elvis' colon weighed.