Banana Liqueur Pudding, the answer to all life's dilemmas

A few months ago, I brought to you the ever-so indulgent Chocolate Champagne Sauce, ideal for drizzling over fruit and cakes alike, as well as sandwiching between warm bread, pastries, or cookies. You may have hated me for it, though I hope if you had the chance to make it, the initial taste test softened those evil eye stares you were beaming to me across the World Wide Web. That chocolate decadence came as a result of leftover alcohol in the Floptimism kitchen which, alas, has struck again. Sit back, it's story time. 

You see, there's this girl, and no matter how much a mango daiquiri or Bailey's-spiked chocolate milkshake may appeal to her, she just cannot seem to finish a bottle of booze., or down a glass of alcohol in less than several hours Despite this well-known trait, she walked into a liquor store one day to find a clearance sale, and the following bottle attracted her attention:

I mean, how could she resist it? A banana-flavored liqueur that's actually called, "I'm Bananas Over You?" On Sale? "I never treat myself," she thought, and with her lovely beau egging her on, she picked up that handle of banana cream liqueur, and marched out of the store (after paying, of course). That weekend, she proceeded to make a smoothie with it and top an already-excessive bowl of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey with it, and she ended the weekend with the satisfaction of having enjoyed tasty alcohol at a frequency  (though certainly not a quantity) more expected of someone her age.

And then it sat. She brought it with her wherever she went (not really - although carrying a handle of liqueur to class would have evoked an interesting set of reactions; she really just brought it to and from her campus address when she left on the weekends), and yet partake of it again, she did not. "This must end," she declared, and so she opened up her trusty internet source to find a more agreeable solution.

After days of searching and finding nothing that called for more than 2 tablespoons of liquor at a time, she finally found it - the recipe she had been looking for all this time! What was it, might you ask? Well, it just so happened to be a Nutter Butter Banana Cream + White Chocolate Mousse Pie. It also happened to be Passover, and so this girl spent an afternoon fantasizing about the perfection that would surely come with the marriage between white chocolate and banana cream atop a nutter butter crust, but then she soon forgot such fantasies and set to work for a simpler, feasible version - just the banana cream layer.

And that is how this dessert, this new dessert perfection with a hint of leftover liquor, came into being. I cannot tell you how incredible this pudding is - in fact, I find that the word "pudding" almost demeans it. This banana cream dessert is sweet and full of banana flavor, fresh and soft and delicate, yet packing enough of a punch to leave you smacking your lips, licking your fingers, and finding that any ensuing stomach ache from its richness will surely be worth it. (Note: no such banana-related stomach ache was experienced, though I would imagine that had there not also been 10,000 other desserts on the Passover table last night and I had focused my attention solely on this little gem, it would be a definite possibility.)

How do you eat this Banana Liqueur Pudding, you ask? Why, just as you enjoyed the Chocolate Champagne Sauce, of course! Some people tried it in the little chocolate cordial cups I found in the pantry; others poured it over the most intense flourless chocolate cake on the planet (ie mound of gooey chocolate incredible-ness); and then others took the slightly more innocuous though equally intriguing route of drizzling it over a nice fruit salad. I, additionally, received much enjoyment from licking the bowl, the whisk, my fingers, and  even pot while/after making it (after the eggs were cooked, I promise!). It is versatile, and just as is the case for any truly phenomenal ingredient - it would make anything taste better, and it would certainly be a welcome addition to Passover dessert buffets (it calls for vanilla extract, though - I know, I know, for shame) and the  fast approaching Easter festivities alike.

I didn't change the recipe what-so-ever, but because I made it isolated from the nutter butter pie (which will absolutely be coming to the Floptimism kitchen sometime once this ban on chametz has been lifted), I'll post just the recipe for the cream below. Definitely follow the link for the full monty, though, if you so choose - there aren't any pictures, but my imagination has had no problem going to town creating that fantastic pie in my mind. It couldn't possibly be anything short of miraculous.

One Year Ago: S'mores Blondies (speaking of indulgent desserts...)

Banana Liqueur Pudding, courtesy of Fulton's on the River
Yield: A Whole Lot of Pudding

The Ingredients

3 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch*
1 1/4 tablespoons. flour*
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup banana liqueur
2 tablespoons butter

The Method
Sift the flour, starch, sugar and salt into a sauce pot, and then pour the cold cream and milk over it. Stir to combine, then whisk occasionally as you heat it (over medium) to reach 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the meantime, lightly beat together the whole eggs along with the yolk in a medium mixing bowl, then stir in the vanilla and liqueur. Set aside until the cream mixture has reached 195 degrees and is ready to be tempered: slowly add a little bit of the hot cream mixture into the eggs (one tablespoon at a time at first), whisking all the while. After 5-10 tablespoons**, you can pour the entire mixture in, still taking care to continue whisking with the other hand.

Place the pot back onto the heat and allow the mixture to reach 185 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat one last time in order to whisk in the butter. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.

*To make this kosher for Passover, simply replace the corn starch with potato starch, and the flour with matzah cake meal. 
**Perhaps 5-10 tablespoons is a little excessive; I'm not actually sure. I tend to err on the side of caution with my tempering, so if you feel comfortable incorporating the full thing after fewer individual tablespoons, go for it.

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