Is one of your New Year's resolutions to eat more sugar, cream, chocolate, peanut butter and bacon? If so, I've got you covered! Why eat vegetables when you can eat all of that in one bite?!
This is basically an Elvis sandwich turned into a soft, custardy bread pudding. Plus a little chocolate. And a little bourbon. Because WHY NOT? It has bananas in it! That's good for you, right?
Bread pudding is one of my favorite foods. It's one of those things that you can so easily adapt to different flavors. Sweet OR savory. This happens to combine both! Sweet, soft bread meets creamy peanut butter, fruity bananas, pockets of melted, slightly bitter chocolate and, of course, salty bacon! We brought this monstrosity to a friends house and ate it alongside some delicious freshly made toasted almond ice cream which really balanced the flavors and sweetness of this dessert. Definitely spring for a scoop of ice cream next to this for a texture and temperature contrast!
This was sort of a last hoorah before heading into the dead winter months to recover from weeks of holiday gluttony. As delicious as it is, eventually I do get sick of eating nothing but crap and can't wait to stuff some veggies in my face instead. I do like vegetables too, after all. If you're looking for a special occasion treat, definitely give this a try. The recipe below reflects a couple changes I would make to it next time - mainly candying the bacon. It's best if you let the bread sit in the custard at least overnight, so plan ahead. Enjoy!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Bread Pudding
(Adapted from the Caseus Cookbook)
1 lb bacon
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1lb loaf brioche
2 cups natural, unsalted peanut butter
12 oz of your favorite dark chocolate bar
2 ripe bananas, sliced
4 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract, or beans of 1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1. To candy the bacon, line 2 large baking sheets with rims with foil for easier cleanup. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the 1/3 cup of brown sugar in a shallow bowl and press one side of each slice of bacon firmly into the sugar to coat. Arrange the slices of bacon in a single layer on the baking sheets sugar side up. If there's any remaining sugar, sprinkle it evenly over the bacon. Bake until the bacon is nicely crisp and the sugar is bubbling, 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, then to a plate and set aside and reserve some of the bacon fat in the pans.
2. Slice the brioche loaf into 1-inch thick slices. Spread each slice of bread with even amounts of peanut butter, then top half of the slices evenly with several pieces of chocolate, some banana slices and a few strips of bacon. Sandwich the slices with all the fixins with the slices of bread with only peanut butter. Using a sharp knife, cut each sandwich into quarters.
3. Grease a deep 9x13inch pan with a bit of the reserved bacon fat, then arrange the sandwich pieces in the pan.
4. In a large bowl whisk together the cream, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and salt until very well combined. Pour most, but not all, of this custard mixture over the sandwiches in the pan and use your hand to gently work some of the custard into the bread while slowly adding the rest of the custard. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but ideally overnight until the custard is well absorbed by the bread.
6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F and spray the top of the bread pudding lightly with cooking spray. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until slightly firm and puffy. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the top is browned. Remove from oven and let rest for about 15 minutes. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or delicious, delicious ice cream!