In Which Coffee and Muffins Take on a Totally Different Form…

More muffins than we’d care to eat…

I agree with that old saw about having too much of a good thing.  Case in point: banana-nut muffins.

Seriously, I like a good, warm, fluffy-textured one to go with my morning coffee – but when the said muffins come in huge boxes that end up sitting like Easter Island moai in the refrigerator (you know the sort: they just sit there, silently accusing you of ignoring them or silently calling you to have another – even when you’re heartily sick of the lot!)  Once shop-bought muffins have gone all stodgy, they can be more than a little unsavory – but that’s where a little ingenuity comes in.

Leftover muffins can actually be the base for a good dessert.  Blueberry or carrot muffins can be sliced up crosswise and layered with homemade custard and either jam or fruit compote to make a trifle.  Chocolate muffins, on the other hand, can be used in lieu of savoiardi or lady-fingers for tiramisu.  Banana-nut muffins can be used similarly, but I like the flavor combination of these cakes with coffee; and so…

Why brew a fresh pot when tinned versions are readily available?

Remember the freckled pudding from several months ago?  This dessert is a variation on its basic theme.  Instead of using plain milk, though, I’ve swapped it for ready-to-drink milk coffee.  (After all, why brew a fresh pot when you don’t have to?)

The end-result is a not-too-sweet, cakey pud that is totally lovely on its own – and is even better served warm with vanilla ice cream melting over it.

Pudding’s up!

Budino di Caffe e Banana

  • approximately 500 grams’ worth of sliced stale banana muffins (an equivalent amount of banana bread or banana cake will suffice)
  • 500 mL ready-to-drink milk coffee
  • 250 mL plain milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 eggs
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve

Warm up the coffee and milk in a saucepan over medium heat till just simmering; remove from heat.  Whisk together the eggs, flavoring extracts, and sugar till foamy.  Pour in the warmed milk-cream mixture and whisk till well-incorporated into a thinnish custard.

In a large mixing bowl, pour the custard over the muffin slices; give it a bit of a stir and leave to soak for 10 – 20 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees / Gas Mark 3.  Butter a large, round baking dish and pour in the custard-cake mixture.  Bake 45 – 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes and serve warm topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Serves 12.