Monday, July 12, 2010

Banana Pudding Dessert

This is one of those classics you just can't live without!  But if you have the time, go the made from sratch route and you will get the most amazing banana pudding dessert EVER.

That's what I set out to do.  In a moment of total forgetfulness, I did not cream the butter with the sugar.  I dont know exactly what was on my mind but I totally disregarded everything I know.  I was in a fog, perhaps thinking about the end result and not what I was doing.  This is what happens with graham crackers when you forget to cream the butter with the sugar and added it in later.

Not pretty- tasty, but not pretty.

I got my wits about me and I figured out what to do with my failure.  I mashed those grahams into parfait glasses and added some of this amazingly good vanilla custard and bananas of course.  Then the final touch- whipped cream and toffee bits- voila, some good, creamy pudding that no one had any trouble eating.

Failure turned to success.  As one of the spammers on this blog said, "failure is the mother of success." I know, wisdom comes from the weirdest places sometimes.

Vanilla Pastry Cream
adapted from, The Sono Baking Company Cookbook
by John Barricelli
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean pod and seeds (pods scraped and put aside)
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, half of the sugar, the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the milk.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining sugar, the remaining milk, vanilla bean pod and the salt.  Bring to a boil.  Ladle the hot mixture very slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so you don't cook the egg. Once you have mixed about two ladles full, you can pour the remaining mixture into the bowl, whisk to combine.  Pour back into sauce pan and return to the heat.  Bring to a boil, making sure the pastry filling thickens.  It may look clumpy.  If large clumps begin to form take off the heat and whisk briskly.  The mixture will smooth out.

Add the three tablespoons of butter to the pastry cream, whisking until fully incorporated.  Stir in the vanilla seeds.

Pour into a glass bowl and lay plastic wrap over top to prevent a skin from forming.

Graham Crackers
This recipe is adapted from the Daring Bakers Nanaimo Challenge

2 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp of all-purpose wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup honey, mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 15 - 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.


kat said...

Yup, sounds like you turned that failure right around!

Ingrid said...

I love when that happens!

Btw, I am totally giving this a try when I go on vacation. I'm visiting my parents in NC and my dad loves, I mean loves banana pudding. Gotta secure my spot as the fave child, ya know! :)

Anonymous said...

Pft, who cares about "pretty" cookies, the overall dessert is stunning! Mmm, I'd like to dive into a big bowl of this right about now...

Barbara Bakes said...

I'm never had banana pudding with grahams and toffee bits. Fabulous idea!

grace said...

very cool, lori--i'm glad you kept your wits about you. banana pudding in all its forms will always be a comfort to me. :)

Justin said...

making grahams from scratch? that is so totally hardcore.