Crème Brûlée…or is it something more?
Ever since I had Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding, I was hooked. I’m sure most people who’ve had it also fell under its spell. Unless they hate bananas or something. That’s cool, I guess.
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It’s so delicious and relatively affordable too. But there’s always something nice about making it at home. Plus, you can always tweak and modify it as you desire.
It’s also incredibly simple to make!
(1.5) cups of water
(1) 3.4 oz box of instant vanilla pudding mix
(1) 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
(3) cups of heavy cream
(1+) box(es) of vanilla wafers (depends on how generous you want to be; I ran out near the end. Maybe get two boxes to be safe and to snack on.)
(Some) bananas. I don’t know maybe half a dozen depending on how big they are. Better to have too many than too few. Again, things to snack on. Good for you too.
Mix the water, pudding mix, and condensed milk together in a bowl.
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Basically make the instant pudding according to the directions, then add the condensed milk because it’s delicious. It will also be very sweet, which is fine considering the whipped cream has no sugar.[/caption]
Refrigerate the pudding for at least 4 hours. Overnight is good too, if you have the patience for it.
Afterwards, whip the heavy cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Feel free to use an electric mixer if you’re lazy or don’t want a forearm workout.
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I was lazy.[/caption]
Take out the pudding and add it into a mixing bowl.
Carefully fold about 1/3 to 1/2 of the whipped cream into it.
Carefully fold the rest of the whipped cream in. Mix it too much and you’ll destroy all the air bubbles that were incorporated into the cream through the whipping. Don’t mix it enough and the two will not be fully incorporated. Good starting technique is to use a rubber spatula, cut the mixture down the middle, scrape halfway around the bowl, and fold once into the center. Rotate the bowl to the unfolded part, repeat a few times…and you should get this.
Get a trifle bowl. Or if you’re like most people who don’t own one or know what a trifle bowl is, use any cylindrical or box-like bowl/tupperware and layer on some vanilla wafers.
Then some banana slices.
Then some pudding.
And repeat until you run out.
Cover and refrigerate the completed product for an hour or so. The dry and crispy vanilla wafers will absorb moisture from the pudding and become like little chunks of vanilla cake.
From here you have pretty much the same banana pudding as you can get from Magnolia Bakery. It’s very nice to stick them in a freezer and take it out like 10 minutes before serving so they almost have an ice-cream like texture to it!
Pack the banana pudding into a ramekin but leave a little room (like a few millimeters) on the top. Stick it in a freezer until it’s frozen, since you’ll need to counteract the next step.
Get a torch. A brûlée torch is nice…but small and overpriced. Get a real torch from a hardware store. Might also want to pick an angled nozzle to help direct the flame downwards, since some models won’t let you tilt the torch that much without going out.
Sprinkle about a teaspoon or so of white sugar on the surface of the frozen pudding. Get a nice even layer. Light the torch and brulee the thing.
The sugar crust will quickly cook and solidify. Enjoy breaking the surface with a spoon and relish in the sweet crunchy bits.
(If you’ve never used a torch before, ignite it according the manufacturer instruction and start with the flame far from the surface. Slowly move it closer and move the flame back and forth across the surface, or in circular motions. You’ll see the sugar liquify, sizzle, and eventually start to caramelize and blacken. You want mostly brown and no black (burnt) spots if possible. A few burnt spots are ok; they will decrease with increased practice in flame and temperature control.)
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So why stop at banana pudding when you can over-complicate things and PLAY WITH FIRE?!