Sunday, April 11, 2010

Food For Friday: Magnolia Banana Pudding

I love cake and cupcakes, so during our time in New York, I was on a mission to try both Crumbs and The Magnolia Cafe.  A friend of mine who lives in the City said that Magnolia's cupcakes were overrated (I highly agree, they were dry and the icing was too sugary), but the banana pudding was the best he had ever had and not to miss it.  We loved the banana pudding and I looked online to try and find a recipe for it when we got home.  I was successful and I made it for our Easter Brunch dessert.  It was close to the original at The Magnolia Cafe and a delicious version of an old favorite.

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
4-5 ripe bananas

In a medium mixing bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute.  Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more.  Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing.  It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity.  I used a trifle pedestal, which makes for a pretty presentation.  Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, layer in one-third of the pudding, and cover with one layer of banana slices. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight.

(Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery)

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