Banana pudding. She's your summer steady. She'll tag along for picnics, she'll make those overly-ornate trifle bowls you got for your wedding shine bright, and she is more than content being tonight's dessert and tomorrow's breakfast.
We can count on banana pudding to be all that we love in this world: simple, nostalgic, and deeply satisfying.
However, banana pudding has been giving her all for quite some time, and I feel that the years are starting to show. Do not mistake me, I am nothing if not traditional, but when it comes to dessert, I am always ready for a little neoclassicism.
Think of it this way, we are basically taking our bowl of banana pudding on a little excursion through Sephora's kitchen equivalent. Well, hello there, rum and hazelnuts.
Sure, they are a little eccentric, a little on the wild side, but that is just what we need to bring a bit of pizazz back into this lovely little dessert's life.
The best part? These frills and fancies by no mean undermine the adored simplicity of this dessert.
Bananas are sliced. Not too ripe, not too green. Juuuust right.
Our vanilla custard is spiked with rum.
Cream is whipped until it resembles clouds more than milk. That is the scientific wording.
Plain, old, vanilla wafers are ground up, along with our hazelnuts, into a crunchy crumble.
Now, we layer.
I made my banana pudding in glasses for individual servings, but you could certainly use a large bowl or trifle dish instead!
What could be more tempting?
This dessert looks so elegant and impressive when served in tall, glass tumblers.
The added crunch of the ground, toasted hazelnuts, along with the just-sweet bananas, airy cream, and rich, thick custard is heaven itself.
Sure, I might be sweating my skin off, but at least I have dessert down pat.
Now, find yourself a long spoon and raise your trifles!
Summer is served!
RUM & HAZELNUT BANANA PUDDING TRIFLES
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine whipping cream and confectioner's sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla extract.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
FOR THE PUDDING
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons amber rum
Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Whisk in eggs, egg yolk, and whole milk.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and reads at 174-180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove from heat and whisk in unsalted butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, then stir in rum.
Allow the pudding to cool just slightly while you prepare the crumble.
Assemble the trifles while the pudding is still warm.
FOR THE HAZELNUT CRUMBLE
3/4 cup hazelnuts
2 cups vanilla wafers
Place hazelnuts in a medium, nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan every so often, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant; about five minutes. Remove from heat.
Combine hazelnuts and vanilla wafers in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse until the mixture is in fine crumbs.
4 medium, ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
Place a large spoonful of warm custard in the bottom of each glass. Top with 4-5 slices of banana, and 2 tablespoons of the hazelnut crumble. Cover with a large spoonful of whipped cream, then repeat each layer as before.
Cover the tumblers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.