Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas

Reprinted with permission from The Mexican Slow Cooker: Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork, and More Favorites, by Deborah Schneider, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Deborah Schneider

Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas

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    Ingredients

    3 tablespoons vegetable shortening 4 large eggs, beaten
    3 cups milk 2 tablespoons salted butter
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 2 ripe but firm bananas, peeled and diced
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 8 cups cubed firm white bread
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Vanilla gelato
    1 disk Ibarra Mexican chocolate, broken into pieces Fresh strawberries
    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    directions

    Total:
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    • 1

      Using half of the shortening, grease the bottom, corners, and halfway up the sides of the slow cooker insert. Line the insert with an 18-inch piece of aluminum foil, smoothing it carefully into the corners and against the sides. Grease the foil with the remaining shortening.

    • 2

      In a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, heat the milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until the milk is steaming, but do not allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the Ibarra chocolate and 11/2 cups of the chocolate chips. Stir with a whisk until the chocolate has melted. Let cool to lukewarm, then whisk in the beaten eggs.

    • 3

      While the milk cools, melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the bananas and brown sugar and sauté for several minutes, until the bananas are glazed.

    • 4

      Place the bread in a large mixing bowl. Add the chocolate mixture, the sautéed bananas, and the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Stir well.

    • 5

      Pour the bread pudding into the cooker, cover, and cook on low 4 to 41/2 hours, or until puffed and firm. For the last 30 minutes, open the lid a small crack to let excess steam escape. Uncover and let cool in the insert for 30 minutes. Serve from the cooker, or unmold onto a plate: Run a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen. Grasp the ends of the foil and lift out of the insert. Turn upside down, peel off the foil, and turn right side up onto a serving plate. Serve warm or cold, with a scoop of gelato on top and the strawberries alongside.

    notes

    If you have access to a Mexican panadería, you can make this dessert with churros instead of bread. Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup and eliminate the cinnamon.

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