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Bananas Foster Croissant Bread Pudding

This delectable croissant bread pudding has a layer of bananas in a rich brown sugar custard. This dessert has a beautiful texture and mouth feel, due to the croissants that are not drenched in the custard. No soggy bread pudding! There's a tad of rum in this dish, which is optional, and you can use either dark or light rum. Even those who don't prefer bread pudding will most likely love this dessert. Always a sell out during my restaurant days, I know you'll love it!

Here is LINK to my YouTube video on how to make this dessert!

Bananas Foster Croissant Bread Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients/Method: (Read through recipe first to gather ingredients) Method is as follows...

Cut 1 pound all butter croissants, preferably stale or day old, into large cubes.

Melt 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted melted butter and a dash of salt. Set aside for later use, will be divided.

Make custard:

In very large yet narrow mixing bowl (a narrow large bowl makes it easier to evenly coat the croissants), whisk together:

4 beaten whole eggs

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup milk (whole preferred)

1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar (I prefer dark brown sugar)

1/2 or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients well until combined.

Toss in croissant cubes to coat them evenly, stirring as need to coat all pieces. Let them rest for 5 minutes. There will not be enough custard for the croissant pieces to be immersed fully. We don't want that!

Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted unsalted butter in a 14 in x 10 in casserole dish.

Add in half of the custard coated croissants to the casserole dish, in an even layer.

Top croissant layer evenly with 4 large or 5 medium firm, not ripe, bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds.

On top of bananas, pour a mixture of 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1-2 tablespoon(s) rum (optional).

Place the remaining custard tossed croissant cubes on top of the bananas. Pour any remaining custard over the top.

Place casserole dish in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Make rum cream sauce:

In medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Add in a dash of salt. Add 1/4 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 2 tablespoons light or dark rum, whisking over medium heat. Allow sauce to come to a very low boil, whisking constantly until sauce thickens, approximately 6-7 minutes. Be careful to not let the cream settle to the bottom of the pan and burn.

To serve, cut bread pudding into squares. Top with sauce, and unsweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Why do I use unsalted butter? Everyone has opinions on this, but butter that is not fresh will not be as detectable if it has salt in it. Also, I prefer to regulate the amount of salt I use in a recipe. Unsalted butter is preferred by most chefs I've known.

Why all butter croissants? Some store bought "croissants" are made with palm oil instead of butter. Awful!

Makes 12 generous servings. Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in a 325 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. You can reheat in microwave but I prefer oven. For best flavor, warm pudding if it has been refrigerated.

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