The recipes from this book also give me the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen without all the residual calories. I've tried a few recipes from the cookbook, and this one is my favorites:
Banana Bread Pudding with Cane Syrup
- Cooking spray for ramekins
- 2 tablespoons cane syrup
- 1 large banana
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups stale wheat bread cubes
- whipped cream or vanilla or butter pecan ice cream for serving
Note: The original recipe called for twice as much cane syrup and sugar. It also called for cream, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and white bread, but I lightened the recipe.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Spray two 1-cup ramekins with cooking spray. Pour 1 tablespoons of cane syrup into each ramekin, and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Peel the banana and slice one third of it. Arrange the banana slices on the syrup in the ramekins.
- Cut the remaining two thirds of the banana into chunks and place them in a food processor. Add the egg, milk, brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl and stir in the bread cubes, pressing down on them to submerge them. Let the bread soak 5 minutes. If you want to add chopped nuts at this time, you may.
- Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, diving it evenly. Bake until the puddings are firm and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Removing the baking sheet from the oven, transfer the ramekins to a wire rack, and let them cook for 10 minutes.
- To serve, unmold the puddings: Run a sharp knife around the edges of the ramekins , and invert the puddings onto individual plates. Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream or caramel syrup or dusted with powder sugar or simply plain. Enjoy.