Chocolate and Caramelized Banana Pudding
There are so many things I look back at before having kids and realizing how naive I was. One of those is that just because your toddler gobbles up a particular type of food, doesn’t mean she’ll like it every time. Bananas seems to be that food for us. Either Derek will buy a bunch and they will be gone within a matter of days, or they will sit there and turn brown because we it’s apparently not a banana week. While I love banana bread (this one from Smitten Kitchen is incredible if you need a good recipe!), I wanted to try something different. Conveniently, the Flavor of the Month being fruit and chocolate gave me some easy inspiration! Thus, thus recipe was born.
Let’s get to it!
You’ll start by making the caramelized bananas. Have you ever had Bananas Foster? These will have a very similar flavor.
In a medium pan, add the butter, brown sugar, and bananas. Cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the bananas are very very soft.
Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and the heavy cream. Once the salt is mixed in, give it a taste. I like a salty caramel so I added more, but go with what you like.
Now set that aside to cool and let’s make the pudding.
Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, corn starch, and salt in a bowl making sure there’s no lumps. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until it’s all combined.
Keep whisking until the pudding starts to bubble and it’s thickened.
Turn off the heat and add the heavy cream and butter. Stir it occasionally until the butter is melted. Mmmmm mmmmmm!
Let that cool a few minutes. While that’s cooling, you’ll get your dish together.
You’ll want to use a glass bowl for this that has straight sides. On the bottom of the bowl, lay some of the chocolate wafers in a single layer, trying to ensure there aren’t any gaps. Now stand up some cookies all along the edge of the bowl. You’re lining the sides before the pudding gets added.
Remember the old school banana puddings? You’d add Nilla wafers and those got soft and cake-like after they’d been sitting in the pudding. Well, these chocolate wafers are the oh-so-delicious chocolate version of those Nilla wafers.
Now dump your caramelized bananas into the chocolate pudding. The pudding may still be a little hot, so be careful. Gently fold them in.
It’s time to layer! Pour about half of the banana chocolate pudding mixture into your cookie-lined bowl.
Now add another layer of cookies on top, making sure you don’t have any gaps (feel free to break them up as needed to get cookie in every crack and crevice).
Add the rest of the pudding and top with more cookies. If you have a few cookies left, that’s great, you can use them to garnish the top.
Cover the dish and put it in the fridge to set and cool for at least 2 hours.
Before serving, you’ll add the final step which is the whipped cream. Whip the heavy cream in a bowl using a stand or hand mixer until soft peaks have formed. Now add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until it’s thick and stiff.
Now spread that evenly over the top of the pudding.
If you have leftover cookies, break them in half and place them on top upright for a little pizzaz.
Scoop into bowls and enjoy!
This pudding is incredible! The chocolate comes through in the creamy pudding and the chocolate wafers that are now a lovely cake texture. Caramelizing the bananas make them super soft, brings out their flavor, and adds a lovely buttery and nutty flavor to the whole thing.
This pudding would also be great for entertaining (yay vaccines!) because you could make it ahead of time and have it ready to go in the fridge.
- 5 bananas, thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon corn starch
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 sleeve of chocolate wafer cookies
- Cook butter, brown sugar, and bananas over medium heat.
- Stir occasionally and cook until sugar is dissolved and bananas are very soft.
- Remove from heat and stir in salt and heavy cream.
- Taste for salt.
- Set aside to cool.
- Mix cocoa powder, sugar, corn starch, and salt in a bowl until there are no lumps.
- Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Keep whisking until pudding starts to bubble and is thickened.
- Turn off heat and add heavy cream and butter. Stir occasionally until butter is melted.
- Let cool a few minutes.
- On the bottom of a straight-sided glass bowl, lay some of the chocolate wafers in a single layer, trying to ensure there aren’t any gaps.
- Stand up some cookies to line the edge of the bowl.
- Fold caramelized bananas gently into the chocolate pudding.
- Pour about half of banana chocolate pudding mixture into cookie-lined bowl.
- Add another layer of cookies on top, making sure there are no gaps (feel free to break them up as needed to get cookie in every crack and crevice). Add remaining pudding and top with more cookies.
- Cover the dish and cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Before serving, whip heavy cream in a bowl using a stand or hand mixer until soft peaks have formed.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until it’s thick and stiff.
- Spread evenly over the top of the pudding. If you have leftover cookies, break them in half and place them on top upright for a little pizzaz.
- Scoop into bowls and enjoy!
- Keep leftovers in the fridge.