Waste Not Want Not; my mother has ingrained that in me. It’s taken a while to stick, but now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, I realize the importance of this saying as it can really pertain to anything but especially to food.
After my Easter brunch for twenty-seven on Sunday, I ended up with an entire extra package of Hawaiian Rolls. They went on to my office to make their encore performance with the leftover ham, but to no avail, those twelve persistent rolls came back to me unscathed.
So, as my mind spun with ideas for their usage, of course, bread pudding rose to the top of the list because Hawaiian Rolls are really perfect for it, thick and egg-y with a little sweetness. Presto change-o, some ingredients I had sitting around in my fridge (left-over coconut creamer, 2% milk, some half-and-half and over-ripe bananas) all found themselves dancing together in a luscious and tipsy bread pudding. It seemed only obvious that a bit of Malibu Rum had to makes its way to the Bread Pudding Party.
I may have been home sick yesterday when I made this. Because unless I’m on my death bed, baking calms me and is my happy place. And this dessert was the perfect sweet and luscious comfort food. Perhaps a little too much of the bread pudding was cut off in slivers all day as I felt a little achy and sniffly. I may have poured more rum over the top of each sliver and hunkered down with a good movie. Do I know how to roll with a sick day or what? Pun absolutely intended because I’m super cheesy like that.
This bread pudding might just be my best one yet. The luscious banana sweetness, crispness of the previously baked bread, and the smattering of toasty coconut atop was so yum. There may have been some extra rum painted over the top as well as it baked. Can you really think of anything better than this combo?
BTW, My top three go-to recipes that use up left-overs are: Chicken Stock (any vegetable at all can make an appearance here where you would add the carrots and celery), Fruit Muffins for any fruit starting to get soft (especially berries and bananas), and of course, any bread pudding. I’ve even been known to use left over bagels for bread pudding.
Tipsy Banana Coconut Bread Pudding
A Sweet and Crumby Original Recipe
30-40 minutes prep time and 40-50 minutes baking time.
8 cups of one inch cubed bread (any combination of leftovers will do but thick breads like french rolls, Hawaiian rolls, bagels and Challah work especially well)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half or any type of milk other than nonfat (I used a combination of 1/2 cup leftover half-and-half and low-fat milk).
1/2 cup coconut creamer or coconut milk (higher fat content is better)
3 ripe bananas, well mashed
3 tablespoons Malibu (coconut) Rum or other rum
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar (use 2/3 cup if your creamer wasn’t sweetened, mine was so I used 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract (optional)
nonstick cooking spray
2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3 more tablespoons rum for brushing on the top
Optional: toasted and coarsely chopped macadamia nuts (1/2 cup), chocolate chips (1/2 cup), freshly made whipped cream for serving on top
How to make the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On a parchment lined (or foil is fine) baking sheet, spread out the cubed bread in a single layer if possible. Brush with melted three tablespoons of butter. You can flip them over to get both sides of the bread ideally, but I rushed through mine and just brushed one side and it was delicious. Bake the cubed bread for 10 minutes or until the bread gets toasty looking; there should be a few browned corners and edges, but don’t over toast. You don’t want it burned or all-over browned.
While the bread is browning in the oven, in a large mixing bowl, beat together half-and-half or milk through the sugar. Then stir in vanilla and coconut extract. Take the bread out of the oven and gently toss into the egg mixture, stirring gently to coat amply. Stir in nuts or chocolate chips if you are adding either. Let the whole mixture sit for ten minutes to allow it to soak up the egg mixture. While the bread is “marinating”, spray a 9×13 or 4qt. Pyrex or other casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Gently put the bread into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut and brush with the three tablespoons of rum. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and bake another 25-35 minutes. It is done when the liquid doesn’t jiggle, some bread is browned and some coconut is toasty. It will never entirely firm up until it cools. As it cools, the egg custard firms up. Make the sauce while the bread pudding is baking. When ready to serve, cut in squares and serve. It re-heats very well for left-overs (of the left-overs 😉 ) )
Serve warm with optional freshly whipped cream and Rum Sauce to follow.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup rum (dark or Malibu rum for this recipe would be fine)
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, butter, and rum. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil gently until thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour warm over a little over each portion when serving.