Serves 4 with a little extra ganache that you can stir into warm milk or a latte later.
I like to serve the pudding divide into 4 pretty 6 ounce glasses with cookies on the side.
Store bought gingersnaps work in a pinch or make salted rosemary shortbread and sub the rosemary for half a vanilla bean, scrapped into the sugar.
For the banana pudding
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups whole milk
1 very, very ripe banana
3 Tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
For the chocolate caramel ganache
4 ounces semisweet chocolate - I like Guittard baking bars two bars are 4 ounces or
3/4 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon room temperature unsalted butter
Make the ganache first so it can cool and thicken.
First, warm the cream in a small saucepan or you could heat it up in a mug in the microwave. I don’t have one but if I did this would be the kind of thing I would use it for.
If you are using bars of chocolate chop them up and place them in a medium glass or metal bowl. If using chips just add them directly to the bowl.
Pour the sugar and water into a small sauce pan. Using a clean finger stir them together— you want it to feel like wet sand. Wipe the insides of the pan with a wet brush or paper towel and heat the sugar over medium heat until it melts and becomes dark amber in color. Watch it like a hawk. Once the sugar start to take on color it darkens quickly. As soon as it gets that deep caramel color turn off the heat and add the cream carefully and swiftly. Warming the cream should keep it from splattering but just in case.
Reheat the cream & caramel mixture over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and cover the bowl with a plate. Let it sit covered for 2-3 minutes so that the chocolate melts. Stir to combine then add the salt and butter and stir again.
Let the chocolate ganache come to room temp on your counter for about 2 hours. In the meantime make the banana pudding.
First, add the sugar to a small bowl. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the sugar.Rub the sugar and vanilla with your hands to release the vanilla into the sugar. Set aside.
In a blender blend the milk, banana, cornstarch, salt and yolks.
Combine the milk mixture, and the vanilla sugar in a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Cook for two more minutes, after it reaches the boiling point still whisking the mixture vigorously. Cooking it for two minutes activates the cornstarch and insures your pudding will not be weepy once it cools.
Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is fully incorporated.
Press plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding to ensure a thin crust does not develop and chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Evenly pour it into glasses and top with the caramel ganache. Sprinkle a little Maldon on top if you would like.