Banana Pudding, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow & ‘Nilla Wafer’ Cream

Banana Pudding, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow
& ‘Nilla Wafer’ Cream

Serves 8 to 10. Recipe is by pastry chef Kelly Fields, of Restaurant August, New Orleans. The recipe was named Best of Show Sweet at the 2013 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. The average home cook would not have the equipment the chef used to make some components of the dish. Therefore, only the Banana Custard, Marshmallow Fluff and Banana Cake are listed.

Banana Cake (see recipe)

Banana Custard (see recipe)

Marshmallow Fluff (see recipe)

Sliced bananas, caramelized

Place serving portion of Marshmallow Fluff on a dish. Top with serving of Banana Cake, Banana Custard and banana slices. (The restaurant also serves the dish with “Nilla Wafer” ice cream and a sprinkling of peanut butter powder.)

Banana Custard

4 cups milk

8 ozs. granulated sugar, divided

4 ozs. butter

1 vanilla bean

5 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

2 ozs. cornstarch

1.5 ozs. all-purpose flour

Salt, to taste

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsps. carrageenan (see note)

1. In a heavy nonreactive pot combine milk, 4 ounces sugar, butter and vanilla bean and ripe bananas. Scald mixture, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steep in a warm spot for about 2 hours.

2. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, remaining 4 ounces granulated sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt together and whisk smooth.

3. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the dairy mixture then puree smooth using an immersion blender. Return to heat, scald, then temper into the egg mixture. Return the entirety of the mixture to the stove over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches a full boil. Stir in carrageenan and remove the mixture from the heat.

4. Transfer mixture to a blender while still hot and blend until smooth and glossy. Pass through a fine sieve and cool on a plastic-lined sheet tray. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, poked with a few holes, to prevent a skin from forming.

Editor’s note: Carrageen is a thickener, emulsifier and stabilizer made from a type of seaweed. Possible alternatives are agar, which is another seaweed, or Certo brand gelling agents.

Marshmallow Fluff

1 cup sugar

1⁄3 cup water

1/4 cup egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 vanilla bean

1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot, combine sugar and water. Cook to 240 degrees.

2. In the meantime, whip egg whites with salt and cream of tartar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to sugar once it reaches temperature. Carefully stream all of the hot sugar into the whipping egg whites. Whip until cool.

Banana Cake

6 ozs. butter

1 lbs. granulated sugar

3 whole eggs

21/2 cups cake flour, sifted

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. kosher salt

11/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas

3/4 cup buttermilk

11/2 tsps. vanilla extract

1. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside.

2. Mash ripe bananas and whisk in buttermilk and vanilla extract.

3. Cream together butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition, stopping to scrape down the mixer bowl several times to fully mix. After all the eggs are incorporated, add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk-banana mixture, third of the dry, remaining buttermilk-banana mixture, and finish with the last third of the dry ingredients.

4. Evenly spread batter on a quarter-sheet (9-inch by 13-inch) tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees until a tester comes out clean.