March 10, 2010

Baking for Beggars: Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

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I’m a freshman. I love to cook. I hate riding the bus. So this semester, to make dorm life easier and more delicious for me, I came up with a few recipes using (almost) solely ingredients available at Cornell dining halls and appliances found in most dorm kitchens.Now that I’ve had six months to perfect my collegiate culinary skills, I’ve decided to share one of my recipes with you. I hereby present Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding.

Ingredients:4-5 rolls of bread: Stuff your pockets with rolls from the bread table at Okenshield’s.Milk: Bring your water bottle to any dining hall and fill it up with good old Cornell milk. Raisins: These can be found at the Appel salad bar.Brown sugar: Swipe some during breakfast at Appel, next to oatmeal.Walnuts/cashews/peanuts/almonds: These can be found at any salad bar.10 sugar packets: Can be found in any library cafe. Salt: Steal a salt shaker from any dining hall table and return it during the last week of classes (gotta love the “no questions asked” policy).Spices: Most library cafes (and CTB) have shakers filled with cinnamon and nutmeg.3 eggs: This is by far the hardest ingredient to find for free. Ask around, and if you can’t find any, go get some cream cheese from Appel.Bananas: Found in every dining hall. Grab two.Chocolate: Hit up Nasties and spend a couple of your BRB’s. I would recommend buying a few bars (Hershey’s will do fine).

Tools:Bowl: Look around your floor’s kitchen. Most likely, someone left a plastic bowl lying around. Fork and spoon: You should have these.Pan: Ask around. If all else fails, hit up your Faculty-in-Residence.A 16-oz red solo plastic cup: You know you have one. (Don’t forget to remove ping pong balls.)

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding Recipe:Fill the cup with milk. Pour into bowl. Add a palm full of brown sugar and a handful of sugar to the bowl. Add a couple pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg and a few shakes of salt. Mix with fork until combined.If you were lucky enough to find eggs, crack three into the bowl and mix. If not, add a couple heaping spoonfuls of cream cheese and mix.Peel one banana and mash into bowl with fork until combined.Tear 4 or 5 rolls into chunks (a bit bigger than bite-size) and place in bowl. You want to add enough bread so that there is only a little liquid left (the bread will absorb most of it).Throw in a handful of raisins and a handful of nuts.Transfer mixture to pan.Peel second banana, cut into small pieces with fork and scatter throughout the pudding. Press the banana pieces down into the bread.Break chocolate bars into pieces and press into pudding. The more chocolate the better. Seriously, you can’t put in too much chocolate. In fact, when you think you’ve added enough, add a bit more.Sprinkle some sugar over the top.Bake in your dorm’s oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 30 to 40 minutes. Because pan sizes will differ, and dorm ovens suck, don’t rely on time. After half an hour, check every 10 minutes. You’ll want the pudding to be nicely caramelized on top and to just barely jiggle in the center when you shake the pan.Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. By now, the smell will have spread across your entire floor, and you should have a mob of hungry students outside the kitchen door, forks in hand.Serve while warm. RLD

Original Author: Harry Flager