I originally created this dessert as a breakfast, sans ice cream and banana caramel, and called it Maple Monkey Bread Pudding. Feel free to do so, but the addition of the melty vanilla ice cream and bananas foster-esque caramel really sends it over the top as a comforting dessert (or breakfast, for that matter). If you cant find brioche, you can substitute challah. Even old croissants work very well. –Megan B. Click for Megan’s amazing recipe!
Banana Maple Bread Pudding with Banana Caramel Sauce
8 large eggs
1 quart whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
4 ripe bananas, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 1-pound loaf brioche, torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 lb butter
Vanilla ice cream
Whisk eggs, cream, and 1 cup maple syrup in large bowl to blend. Add brioche and 1/2 the bananas; stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally (the soaking can be omitted if you’re impatient, but it won’t be quite as moist).
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13×9 inch baking dish. Transfer bread mixture to prepared dish. Bake until puffed and golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. While baking, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat until foamy. Add the bananas, sauteeing for two minutes. Add sugar to the skillet and stir to dissolve, continuing to stir until a tasty caramel forms. When pudding is done, cool slightly, then cut into 6 to 8 pieces. Place scoop of ice cream atop pudding and top with warm banana caramel. Voila! Comfort achieved.