Bananas Foster was invented at Brennan’s Restaurant when flaming tableside desserts were all the rage. At the popular French Quarter steak house owned by Dickie Brennan, a member of the second generation of Brennan family restaurateurs, two of the most classic New Orleans desserts create a marriage made in heaven.
To prepare Pudding: Dry bread in a 200-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove bread from oven and increase oven temperature to 300 degrees. Slice bread 1/2 inch thick.
Place bread in a 10x8x2-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, bananas, brown sugar, cream, milk, granulated sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon; blend well with a hand mixer. Pour mixture over bread and mush together with your hands so the bread absorbs the liquid and becomes very soggy. Be sure to flatten all of the lumps. Cover pan with foil and bake at 300 degrees for 2-1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the center of the pudding comes out dry. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until pudding is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool until pudding is warm.
To prepare Foster Sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Add rum and then carefully ignite. After the flames have subsided, stir in banana liqueur. Add bananas and simmer over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the sauce coats a spoon.
To serve: Cut warm bread pudding into 3-1/2-inch squares. Top each serving with Foster sauce and a slice of banana. Garnish with mint leaves.
Recipe contributed by Chef James Leeming, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
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