White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bananas and Rum Sauce
This decadent take on an iconic dessert, from Mat & Naddie's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, gilds the lily, pan-frying white chocolate-enriched bread pudding, and plating it with satiny caramel and sweet bananas. Todd Coleman

This decadent take on an iconic New Orleans dessert, from Mat & Naddie’s Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana, gilds the lily, pan-frying white chocolate-enriched bread pudding, and plating it with satiny caramel and bruleed bananas. This recipe first appeared in our December 2012 issue along with Ben Mims’s story Beyond the Pale.

Yield: serves 6


For the White Chocolate Bread Pudding

  • 4 12 cups milk
  • 20 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 oz. stale country white bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 12 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs

For the Rum Sauce and Bananas

  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. dark rum
  • 12 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 12 cup turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
  • 4 bananas, halved lengthwise and then halved crosswise


  1. Make the bread pudding: Bring 4 cups milk, 16 tbsp. butter, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt to a simmer in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; remove from heat, and let cool for 20 minutes. Combine bread, chocolate, and almonds in a large bowl; set aside. Add 6 eggs to milk mixture, and whisk until smooth. Pour custard over bread mixture, and stir until evenly combined; let sit to soften bread, about 20 minutes. Heat oven to 300°. Pour bread mixture into a 9″ × 13″ metal baking pan, making sure ingredients are evenly distributed, cover with foil, and bake until set, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, make rum sauce: Bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves; cook, without stirring, until sugar turns into an amber-colored caramel, about 15 minutes. Add cream, butter, rum, and juice, and stir until smooth; set sauce aside.
  3. Place flour and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes; whisk together remaining milk and eggs in a third shallow dish. Unmold bread pudding from pan, and cut into 8 rectangles. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Dredge each piece in flour, then coat in the milk mixture, and finally coat in bread crumbs. Add 4 pieces to skillet, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly; repeat with remaining butter and pieces. While pudding is still hot, top each with a chunk of white chocolate.
  4. To serve, place turbinado sugar on a plate, and dip the flat cut-side of each banana quarter in sugar to cover completely; place sugar-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Using a handheld blowtorch or the broiler, heat sugar until melted and caramelized, about 6 minutes if broiling; set aside. Pour rum sauce in the middle of 8 serving plates, and place 1 piece pudding in the center of each; place 2 bruleed banana quarters on either side of the bread pudding.