it's BANANA time

In the spirit of BANANA 2: The Asian American Bloggers Conference, I made one of my favorite desserts of all time, Magnolia Bakery's banana pudding. 

Photo from serious eats NY

This pudding is near and dear to my heart, because every time I eat it, I vividly remember several sweet memories of New York. My first bite was back in 2008 when I stayed with my friend, Bob, in Manhattan. I had cooked my pi├Ęces de r├ęsistance, korean spicy braised short ribs, for 10 of my close friends in NY as a special thanks for making my trip oh so wonderful. Erika and Rich brought the pudding and from what I remember, Erika fed it to me, and I instantly fell in love. With both Erika and the pudding.

Photo from that very night, the night we became wifeys
On Bob's roof. Yep, that's pudding my hands.

The second time I had it was when I went back to NY in 2009. I hadn't told any of my friends I was visiting because I was there for work and unfortunately had no time to meet with anyone. I was pretty bummed b/c I didn't have time for any of my favorite things - friends, levain cookies, magnolia's banana bread pudding, a long walk around nyc. My first night, I left my hotel on a quick search for bottled water and as I was crossing the street, I literally ran into my dear friend, Bob! and and AND in his hands was a plastic bag, and in that plastic bag was a big container, and in that big container was none other than Magnolia's glorious banana pudding. What I thought would be a boring night in NY ended up being eventful and tasty! We ended up watching Shakira perform at the Rockefeller ice rink while feasting on pudding. 

third time was in 2010 when I was back in NY for a business trip. Again, I thought I wouldn't have time for friends, but I think life just really likes me when I'm in New York, because!! The place where I was hosting an event for work just happened to be RIGHT across from the new Magnolia Bakery. I ended up walking there with my friend, Rich, and we indulged on all things Magnolia, which obviously included the pudding. 

So many memories induced by this creamy banana pudding. Mmmm. 
I shall now leave you with some photos I took today of my pudding making process. I love making desserts that don't require baking!!  

first, i made the pudding. instant vanilla pudding mix + water + condensed milk
oh my dear goodness. whipping the heavy cream by hand made me sweat profusely and cry out in pain. it took foreverrr. word to the wise - if you want to whip heavy cream but you don't have a mixer, buy or borrow one. unless you want uneven muscle tonage (my right arm is now buffer than my left).
i folded the pudding into the whipped cream. i also had many taste tests. ;)
before making this, i already knew i wanted to share the pudding with several different friends. so i bought some fun clear plastic cups. how cute are they.
stacking time: cream, wafers, bananas. repeat, taste test, repeat, repeat. ;)
now the hardest part. letting it sit in the fridge for a day so all the flavors meld together. 
Recipe from Grace Notes NYC