Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Birthday Wish And Banana Pudding

I wished my mother a Happy Birthday a few days ago on a Skype web cam call. She lives in Ohio and I live in Massachusetts, so thanks to my sister and her laptop, we were able to sit and chat face to face. Before my call, she had a web cam conversation with my daughter in South Korea. It certainly makes the world a smaller place. After our conversation, I ran down to my local market for a few things and saw vanilla wafers on sale beside nice ripe bananas. Serendipitous, I thought. My mom used to make Banana Pudding with vanilla wafers often, but I haven't had it in quite some time. I felt a tugging......growing up in a large family, our desserts were never fancy individual ones. We had desserts to feed a crowd that were made in sheet pans or pie plates. Today I wanted Banana Pudding, and there isn't a crowd to feed anymore. I put the vanilla wafers in my shopping basket along with some bananas and whipping cream. I went home and made individual Banana Puddings, topped with whipped cream instead of the traditional meringue. Having Pam's Chocolate Chip Strawberry Shortcakes in my mind, I added mini chocolate chips into the layers. Bananas and chocolate are a marriage that works! I couldn't wait to dig my spoon into the pudding. I'm surprised it made it to the picture phase! One bite took me back in time, as a certain song will bring back a moment from the past. I think I'll make it more often.

Banana Pudding With Chocolate Chips

3 cups Vanilla Custard Pudding
about 50-60 vanilla wafers (depending on size and shape of bowl)
4 bananas
1 cup mini chocolate chips
about 2 cups freshly whipped and sweetened cream as a topping
chocolate shavings to garnish

Vanilla Custard Pudding

2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yokes
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir the egg yokes with a whisk to break them up. Whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the milk and strain through a fine-mesh strainer to get any bits of egg white. Mix this strained egg mixture into the remaining milk in a saucepan. Add the sugar and cornstarch. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat until it comes to a simmer and thickens just enough to coat a wooden spoon. Whisk in the butter and vanilla just until the butter is completely incorporated. Reduce heat to simmer and cook a few minutes more, until thickened.

Makes about 3 cups.

Line a one cup bowl with a layer of vanilla wafers around the edge and bottom, with curved surface facing towards bowl.

Add a spoonful of pudding, sliced bananas and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.

Add 1/3 cup pudding, then another layer of vanilla wafers,bananas and another sprinkling of chocolate chips. Line the edge of the bowl with the vanilla wafers as you add the layers. If you try and line the whole bowl beforehand, the vanilla wafers can slip and fall down into the bowl. Finish with the remaining 1/3 cup pudding. Top with freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a banana slice as a garnish.Makes 4-1 cup bowls

Written and photographed by Diane.

Download Banana Chocolate Chip Pudding (pdf)

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