My 2nd Chiquita Contest Entry: Banana Walnut Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce

Remember last week when I entered the Chiquita Cooking Lab contest last weekend with a banana bread pear sandwich recipe? Well, I really enjoyed coming up with that recipe, and so I couldn’t help but check back in on the Chiquita website this week and check in on their next round of ingredients. Up this week? Chiquita bananas (duh!), walnuts, and caramel.

I decided to go with a banana bread pudding, adding walnuts to the dessert to give it some good texture and saltiness. Topped with some homemade caramel sauce, how could you go wrong?

Kevin Keller says this recipe is a winner, and Kevin Keller knows his desserts. (Hear that, Chiquita folks? A WINNER!) Try it for yourself and let me know what you think! (Except you, Bethany. Everyone knows you don’t love bananas. But just trust me that this is really super good to those of us who do.)

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Banana Walnut Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce

Ingredients (for banana bread pudding)

  • 3 Chiquita bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces
  • 4 cups day-old sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients (for bread pudding sauce)

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients (for caramel sauce)

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions (for bread pudding)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a casserole pan with non-stick spray.
  • Add bread to prepared pan.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs.
  • Add half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  • Stir in bananas slices.
  • Pour mixture over bread cubes and stir to coat.
  • Sprinkle walnuts on top of bread.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Directions (for bread pudding sauce)

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add sugar and cornstarch to melted butter, stirring to combine.
  • Stir in half and half and corn syrup.
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a full boil.
  • Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat, then stir in vanilla.
  • Spoon sauce over bread pudding and serve warm.

Directions (for caramel sauce)

  • Mix the brown sugar, half and half, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes to thicken.
  • Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further.
  • Spoon warm caramel sauce over bread pudding (on top of the bread pudding sauce). You can save the rest of the sauce to use later (it would be great over ice cream!).

 

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