So of course it's time for a recipe to share!
I'm a little self-conscious that I use bananas in so many recipes, but its not unusual for us to have some geriatric specimens around that need to get used up. In their (and my) defense, they are a great source of natural sugars and fiber and they taste great.
Additionally, after 18 years of not eating chocolate, I'm putting my toes in the water of baking and cooking with healthy dark chocolate.
[Besides tasting great, I'm totally sold on the health benefits of dark chocolate, so much so that I've become a distributor of Xocai Healthy Dark Chocolate. Learn more about the health benefits and how to get some for yourself here.]
The weather forecast for today called for major dreariness -- rain, sleet and hail with a little snow mixed in. In this part of the country, that usually means a run to the store for eggs, milk and bread. For me, it means it's time to use up the weird collection of gluten-free baked odds and ends in our small above-the-refrigerator freezer. Since we already had eggs and (almond) milk on hand, I decided to go for a gluten-free chocolate chunk banana bread pudding. Having made gf bread pudding before, I have to note that milk, sugar, eggs, bananas and chocolate can go only so far to fix dreadful-to-begin-with bread, so if you saved some awful tapioca-based loaf at some time in the past, just throw it out. It can't be salvaged. Life's too short.
Approximately 10 cups of gf bread, cut into cubes (I didn't use the raisin bread you see in the picture, but did use some muffins, rolls and random slices of both light and dark-colored breads)
2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup sugar
Tablespoon of vanilla
scant 1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1.5 oz dark chocolate chunks (I used 7 Xocai Power Squares broken into pieces)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rectangular baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I lined our 9" X 13" baking pan with parchment paper because we don't have dedicated gf baking pans and a girl can't be too careful.) Put the bread cubes in the baking pan.
Combine the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Fold in the banana and chocolate. Pour it over the bread cubes. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the liquid to soak into the bread. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until it's cooked through and through. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Because I could, I lifted mine out of the pan by its parchment paper and let it cool on a wire rack. For the photo opp, I cut back the parchment paper, but that was purely cosmetic. Anything for my art.
I think it might qualify as irony, but I let it cool and put half of it in the freezer to reduce the risk that I would eat it all in one sitting.