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…
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.
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.