Brazilian Style Banana Pudding

Based on this recipe for Sombremesa de Banana com Queijo (Banana and Cheese Pudding)

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 4 ripe bananas, cut crosswise into 2″ pieces, then lengthwise into ¼”-thick slices
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 14 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Boil milks and whole spices in 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes; discard spices.
  3. Spread ⅓ reduced milk over bottom of an 8″ x 8″ baking dish; top with half the bananas and half the cream cheese. Repeat layering, ending with reduced milk; sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
  4. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
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Banana Chocolate Pudding

I was inspired by watching MasterChef to make a quick dessert with a banana. I wanted a banana pudding, or a banana cream pie, but also something light, and easy. So I made a basic blancmange with cornstarch (the traditional Fanny Farmer recipe), then dumped in a couple of big handfuls of chocolate and sliced bananas soaked in rum. No added fat or eggs, and can easily be made parave or vegan. Not the same as a real Southern-style ‘nana puddin’, but delicious and so much more healthful.

Ingredients

  • 3 TB cornstarch
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 oz dark or spiced rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 2 ripe bananas

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix cornstarch and sugar with hot coffee, stir well over medium heat.
  2. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously to incorporate without lumps.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir to melt.
  4. Cook until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring often to keep from burning.
  5. Slice bananas, and sprinkle with rum.
  6. Remove pan from heat, season with extracts, and stir in bananas.

Notes

  1. Cow’s milk can be used instead of the coffee and almond milk.
  2. Amount of sugar can be adjusted to taste. Add 1-2 TB if bananas are less sweet.
  3. Unsweetened baking chocolate or regular semisweet chips can also be used, adjust sugar accordingly. 

Little House on the Prairie Cake

Based on the coffee cake recipe in “The Old West Baking Book” by Lon Waters. Inspired by a nasty looking picture of an unhealthy cake that someone posted to FB, I decided to make a rustic yet healthy caek of my own. The original recipe had lots of butter and cream, which I substituted. The texture wasn’t perfect, but hey, something’s got to give, and it was quite delicious.

Ingredients

Caek:
3/4 cup All Whites liquid egg whites (or 3 eggs)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup cold strong coffee
1/2 cup low fat sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon butter flavour
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg, cinnamon, salt

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts

Frosting:
1 package low fat Neufchâtel cream cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 TB butter (optional)

Directions
. Preheat oven to 350F
. In bowl of KitchenAid stand mixer beat egg whites with whisk attachment until light and frothy
. Slowly add sugar, then other liquid ingredients
. Replace whisk with paddle attachment, and gently stir in the dry ingredients
. Add raisins and nuts and mix to incorporate
. pour into greased round caek pan and bake about 40 minutes until done
. While cake is baking, prepare icing by beating together butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread over warm caek