A few weeks ago I entered the Chiquita Banana Cooking Lab Contest. Since I love bananas, I knew this would be a fun contest. Each week there was a different challenge featuring a few must-use ingredients. Even if my experiments were a disaster, I knew they’d still taste pretty darn good. I mean, they’d have bananas, right?!? I like the challenge of creating a recipe from a mystery basket — sort of like my very own version of the Food Network show Chopped. So, off to the grocery store and into the kitchen I ventured to create a winning recipe.
There were eight weeks of challenges but I only managed to enter weeks 1 and week 8. My recipe for Crème Caramel Banana Bread Puddings won me a runner up prize in the Week 8 challenge with the required ingredients bananas, caramel, and walnuts. It’s pretty darn delicious, easy to make, and a definite winner!
- Divide banana bread cubes among ramekins.
- Arrange banana slices on top.
- Add walnuts.
- Top with reserved bread cubes, pour in cream mixture, drizzle with butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus additional for ramekins
- 1 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup salted caramel ice cream topping, plus additional for serving
- 6 slices banana bread
- 3 Chiquita Bananas, sliced into thin rounds
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- 4 teaspoons melted butter
- 4 teaspoons turbinado sugar (or brown or white sugar)
- Heat oven to 350. Generously butter 4 1-cup capacity oven-safe ramekins or baking dish; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk cream, eggs, and caramel in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
- Cut banana bread into 1-inch cubes, place on prepared baking sheet, and toast until dry, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup. Divide remaining cubes among prepared ramekins.
- Dividing evenly, arrange Chiquita Banana slices and walnuts on top of bread cubes. Top with reserved bread cubes, carefully pour cream mixture into each ramekin. Let sit 10 minutes to allow bread to absorb liquid.
- Drizzle with butter and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake until puddings are golden brown and set in the middle, about 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with additional caramel.
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