Way back on New Years Eve, knowing full well that my no sweets sojurn was starting very soon, I knew I had to pick the perfect dessert to cap off our celebrations.
Enter Roasted Banana Pudding.
This was the dessert of my childhood. Of birthday celebrations, special events celebrations, and really any night we wanted to feel special.
However, this recipe was a step up, largely due to these.
Yes, they look gross, but this is what happens when you roast bananas in the oven for 40 minutes until they are a delicious, extra sweet flavor. These are mashed up and mixed into the pudding, to give them that step up.
The other very exciting part of this recipe is that it required me, for the first time, to actually make pudding. It had really never crossed my mind that you could make pudding any way except with a Jell-o pudding box. Following this recipe, I tempered eggs, and mixed them with sugar, milk and vanilla, and cornstarch, and with some stirring over heat, over time, it magically became think, creamy, delicious pudding.
From here, it was just like "normal" banana pudding (i.e. the family recipe) trifle, with a few upgrades.
After a layer of pudding, you put down a layer of vanilla wafers (In childhood we used Nilla wafers. Here? Whole Foods Organic vanilla wafers. Chosen so I wouldn't have to make and extra stop, but such a good choice. Much more flavorful than Nilla wafers).
These were topped with more roasted bananas (though, in retrospect, I think I'll just use regular bananas. The texture of sliced roasted bananas were just a bit off texture-wise and regular bananas are perfect in their regular state).
You just keep repeating these layers until you've used up your pudding and toppings (3 layers about does it).
Here, however, was where I had to differ from the directions, because neglected what I consider to be of paramount importance to this pudding.
The baked marshmallow topping - possibly my favorite part. So, I added that, which made all the difference in taking this dessert from spectacular to perfection. I even went as far to top leftovers with a fresh layer, and pop them in the toaster so that I could have the same freshly cooked from the oven taste the second time around.
And since the recipe originally called for whipped cream on top? I figured we could add that, too.
Needless to say, after all this deliciousness, laying off the sweets for a month wasn't all that out of line.