Happy Mardi Gras! I am making our traditional King Cake today, but I thought that this dessert could also be an appropriate celebratory option. It reminded me of a New Orleans bread pudding with some of the flavors of Bananas Foster, another famous New Orleans dessert.
The recipe was part of a Food and Wine magazine article, contributed by Laura Rege, titled “Ugly Delicious!” The author makes the point that a lot of delicious food isn’t Instagram drool-worthy. I didn’t really think that this dessert was that ugly, but it was delicious! 🙂
Yield: Serves 9
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided, plus more for greasing (I used cooking oil spray for greasing)
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 6 ounces pitted dates, chopped (1 cup) (I used Medjool dates)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 medium-size overripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°, preferably on convection. Grease a 9-inch square metal cake pan with butter or cooking oil spray.
- In a small heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water over the dates; stir in the baking soda.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat 1/4 cup of the butter with 3/4 cup of the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- At low-speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Add the date mixture and bananas, and beat at low-speed until just combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, the remaining 1/4 cup of butter, and the remaining 1 cup of brown sugar. Bring to a gentle boil over moderate heat, and cook until slightly thickened and deep golden, about 3 minutes. Keep warm.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes all over the cake.
- Pour half of the warm sauce over the cake, and let stand until absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with the remaining sauce and the whipped cream.
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