A freezing, snowy/rainy Brooklyn weekend inspired cravings for creamy, silky pudding and decadent bread pudding, so that's what you see here. The pudding is a nice old-fashioned butterscotch, spiked with real scotch and deepened with vanilla extract and plenty of dark brown sugar. After a bit of playing around I found that half and half, not milk or cream, yielded the best consistency.
The other is caramel banana bread pudding, my version of one that I made in bulk with pastry chef Annie Stilwell in New Orleans when we were volunteering with Culinary Corps. I cooked dark brown sugar and butter until it got smooth and gooey, then sliced in bananas and cooked it down a bit. Challah pieces and a simple custard with eggs, a little bourbon, a dash of sugar and -- you guessed it -- half and half brought it all together. I would serve it with chocolate or rum sauce.
The best part? These are both so simple to make, nearly foolproof (well, obviously, if I could do it ;)