Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with Caramel Rum Sauce

Just in time for Mardi Gras!
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding w/ Caramel Rum Sauce
**thank you  for the inspiration for this recipe**
* For a non-alcoholic version Rum Extract works great!*

1 loaf French bread, torn into bite sized pieces
4 large eggs
2 cups milk
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 large ripe bananas, sliced
2 tsp.vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 TBSP dark rum [or 1tsp rum extract]
2 tbs.'s banana liqueur (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1] Tear bread into pieces in large bowl. 
2] In separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and sugar, until well blended. Stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, rum, liqueur, pecans, and bananas.
3] Pour mixture over bread pieces, mix well, and let stand for 10 minutes. 
4] Place mixture into a 13x9 inch, buttered baking dish [ I like the mash mine down at this point to make it more dense like some of the Bread Pudding I had in New Orleans, but it is COMPLETELY up to you if you want to do that too] and cover with foil. Place baking dish in a larger shallow baking pan filled with 2 inches of water.
5] Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 
6] Remove foil and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. 

Caramel Rum Sauce

1 cup whipping cream [ I used half n half and it worked fine]
1  1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup light or dark rum [ or 2 tsp rum extract]
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring whipping cream to a light boil in large saucepan, over medium heat, stirring often. Add brown sugar and continue to cook at a low rolling boil for  5 minutes, stirring often. 
Remove from heat and stir in rum, butter, and vanilla. 
Let cool for about 10 minutes. Ladle over bread pudding. Enjoy!


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