Though this recipe takes some advanced planning (you need to allow around 2 weeks for the bananas to ferment), it’s well worth the wait. The fermented, sweet tang of bananas blends with bitter chocolate for a tropical spin on the classic pudding. It's easier, too, as the pudding is set with gelatin rather than egg yolks, which also lets the banana flavor shine through.
Note: If you want to ferment and puree more bananas than this recipe needs, the three bananas called for in this recipe should yield 1 1/4 cups of puree. Combine that with your half-and-half and reserve the rest for another day.
- 3 medium bananas
- 2 2⁄3 cups half-and-half
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 lb. 70 percent bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Whipped cream and toasted cocoa nibs, to garnish
Let the bananas sit out at room temperature until completely blackened. Transfer the bananas to the refrigerator and store for at least 1 week or, preferably up to 3 weeks. Alternatively, freeze the blackened bananas for up to 2 months then let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Peel and discard the banana peels and transfer the flesh to a blender with 2 1⁄3 cups half-and-half. Blend the bananas and half-and-half until smooth. Pour the banana puree into a medium and saucepan, stir in the chocolate, sugar, salt, and vanilla, and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1⁄3 cup half-and-half with the gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.
Scrape the gelatin mixture into the saucepan and stir until the gelatin dissolves, the chocolate is completely melted, and the mixture is smooth. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat, pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, and divide the mixture among eight 6-oz. ramekins or serving cups. Refrigerate the cups until the puddings are set, at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, dollop whipped cream over the top of each pudding and sprinkle with cocoa nibs.