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Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sorbet
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Serves 6. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350/gas 4. Butter a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin and line it with greaseproof paper. Cream the butter with the soft light brown and granulated sugars. Beat the eggs together and add slowly to the butter mix. Mix the mashed ripe banana into the butter mixture. Sieve together the flour and baking powder with the salt and fold into the banana-butter mix. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and cook for 50-60 minutes. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before turning out of the tin. Once cold, remove all the crust from the loaf. The banana bread can now be cut into 1 cm ( in) dice. This is now ready to be soaked with the chocolate custard. To make the chocolate custard, bring the cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan. Put the butter and chocolate in a bowl, pour on the cream mixture and stir, melting the two together. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Pour on the chocolate cream and strain through a sieve. Pour the chocolate custard onto the diced banana bread, mix in well to help the banana bread soak up the chocolate flavour. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. For the chocolate ganache, bring the double cream to the boil with the granulated sugar, and pour over the chocolate and butter in a bowl and mix well. Leave to chill and set. Once set and firm, roll the ganache into balls approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter and refrigerate until needed. These ganache balls will be placed in the centre of the cakes, creating the melted chocolate filling. Now make the chocolate tuiles. You will need a large sheet of baking parchment to spread the biscuits on and a stencil to shape them, which could be a triangle, leaf shape, circle, etc. I prefer to cut a circle 7.5-10 cm (3-4 in) in diameter from a plastic carton or lid. This gives you a permanent stencil to wash and use time and time again. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas 3. Sieve together the cocoa powder, icing sugar and flour. Slowly mix in the egg white, then the melted butter. Place the stencil on the baking parchment. Spread over enough of the mixture to give a thin shape. Lift and repeat the stencil shapes. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Once they are cooked and while still warm, lift the biscuits off the paper with a palette knife and drape them over upturned cups or small bowls to give you a biscuit-cup shape to sit the sorbet in. You could also cut a cardboard cylinder from the centre of a roll of foil or cling film in half lengthways. Push a tuile into it, which will give you a curved biscuit once it has cooled. The cooked tuile biscuits will keep for 48 hours if kept in an air-tight container. To finish the dish, pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas 3, or a little higher. Butter six 7.5 cm (3 in) diameter, 5 cm (2 in) deep pastry rings. Put them on greased baking parchment or greaseproof paper on a baking sheet. Spoon a layer of the soaked cake into the moulds and put a ball of ganache in the centre. Continue to fill the moulds with care until the ganache ball is covered. Bake the puddings for 10-15 minutes. During the baking, the chocolate custard and banana cake mixture will set and give a baked-cake finish with melting ganache inside. Leave the puddings to cool or serve immediately. The advantage of this dessert is that these puddings can be left to cool and then refrigerated. To serve, they then simply need to be microwaved.