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TWO DESSERTS FINALLY COME TOGETHER


 This banana bourbon bread pudding is rich and silky.
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Date published: 2/6/2013

By ALISON LADMAN

Associated Press

Bananas Foster and bread pudding are two of the most popular desserts in New Orleans. So in honor of the over-the-top nature of Mardi Gras, we decided to take a more-is-better approach and combine them into one.

We topped a simple baked banana-pecan bread pudding with a classic hard sauce--including a healthy dose of bourbon, of course--which becomes a gooey icing that melts into the dessert and hardens as it cools.

If that's not your style, the dessert would be equally delicious topped with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Or both.


TWO DESSERTS FINALLY COME TOGETHER

BANANA BOURBON BREAD PUDDING

Start to finish: 1 hourMakes 16 servings

For the bread pudding:

1 loaf (about 14 ounces) banana bread, cubed 4 cups (8 ounces) cubed French or Italian bread 2 very ripe bananas, mashed 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 3 cups milk, hot 1 teaspoon vanilla extract teaspoon ground allspice cup pecans, toasted and chopped For the bourbon hard sauce:

cup (1 stick) butter, softened 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted cup bourbon

Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. 3. On rimmed baking sheet, arrange cubed banana and French or Italian breads in an even layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside. 4. In large bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs and sugar. 5. While whisking, pour in hot milk, then add vanilla and allspice. Gently mix in toasted bread cubes and pecans, then spoon mixture into prepared pan. 6. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 25 to 35 minutes. 7. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. In medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until smooth and soft. 8. Add powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated. 9. Add bourbon and stir until smooth. Set aside. 10. When bread pudding has finished baking, dollop hard sauce over surface, spreading it as necessary to allow it to melt evenly over surface. 11. Serve bread pudding warm. Nutritional information per serving: 340 calories; 120 calories from fat (35 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 25 g sugar; 6 g protein; 200 mg sodium