Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special note: today's post is by my good friend and fellow blogstress, Swestie. She writes about things that inspire her. Check out her blog here. Today, I'm also posting on her blog about how I was inspired to start cooking. I hope you enjoy the switch! Don't forget to let us know what you think! Heeerrrrreeee's Swestie!

Recently, I indulged my taste buds in some banana pudding at a restaurant here in Richmond. This restaurant is known for it ever-changing repertoire of comfort foods, and the banana pudding I ordered there did not disappoint.

Served individually in shallow dishes, the sweet, gooey lusciousness is layered over a crumbly crust, topped by a layer of ever-so-thinly-sliced bananas, fanned over the top and caramelized to crisp, delicate perfection. The caramelization creates such a rich note to the already decadent dessert. Eating the pudding, slowly… mindfully… one immorally delicious bite after another… is the meaning of pleasure in the first degree.

So I decided to try to recreate it… with a recipe from Weight Watchers, no less. Now the WW recipe called for the recipe to be layered into one large dish, creating servings for 12 (only four points per serving!), and one of the layers was “whipped topping” (love the taste, hate the idea). So I modified the recipe to serve the pudding in individual ramekins, without whipped topping, WITH the caramelized goodness on top. Here’s how I did it.

1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of sugar, plus a little bit extra for caramelization
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 ½ cups of 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons of butter, divided
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
36 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers
5 ripe bananas
10 individual ramekins

Crush the Nilla Wavers and distribute evenly between the ramekins.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a 3-quart saucepan.

Combine egg yolks and milk; stir with a whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stirring well. Add 2 tablespoons butter. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and vanilla, stirring until butter melts.

Pour this mixture into the ramekins.

Layer the pudding with bananas sliced very thinly.

Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, layer the top again with very thinly sliced bananas, fanned over the top of the pudding. Sprinkle the top with sugar, and place in a HOT broiler for 3-3 ½ minutes (watch this – don’t want it to burn). Or, if you have one of those kitchen blow torch things, put it to good use, the best way you know how… I’m not so fancy.

If you MUST have the “whipped topping” add it now… or for an even richer taste sensation, use real whipped cream…

Now impress and astound your friends and family with delicious, home-baked - yet easy and slightly fancy – goodness, right in your own home. (5 WW points/serving, the way I fixed it.)


Swestie said...

What an utterly charming guest blogger you have. (=

Vanessa said...

I know, I simply do love her ;)

Bunny Trails said...

Love the recipe! One of my favorite foods (my poor waistline) is my mamma's banana pudding. I'm quite sure it's more than 5 WW points though! LOL Thanks for the diet friendly recipe!!

Diana said...

Oooh, I haven't had any sort of banana pudding since I was a kid. I have to try this recipe.