for the croissant bread pudding
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
butter a 9" x 13" baking dish that's at least 2" tall.
place the mini croissants in the prepared baking dish, making sure they fit in snugly. you don't want there to be large gaps or too much room between the croissants, so you can tear a few up to fill some of the holes if you need to. set aside.
in a medium saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and water. place over medium-high heat, and stir frequently with a whisk or wooden spoon.
while the sugars are cooking on the stove, combine the heavy cream and half & half in a large microwave-safe bowl.
microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating until the liquid is warm.
add the dark rum and banana liqueur to the warmed cream mixture, and stir to combine. set aside.
in a medium bowl, combine the beaten eggs, salt and vanilla bean paste. whisk to combine, and set aside.
when the brown sugars are dissolved in the water, and the mixture begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat. while whisking constantly, slowly pour in the heated cream mixture. the saucepan will likely bubble and hiss violently, but just continue whisking feverishly and adding the cream until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
very slowly pour the hot liquid from the saucepan into the bowl containing the beaten egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
when the custard is smooth and uniform, pour immediately over the croissants in the baking dish.
the croissants will want to float to the top, but press them down to ensure that the tops are soaked through.
carefully transfer the baking dish to the middle rack of the oven.
bake the croissant bread pudding at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the croissants are burnished and brown, and the custard is baked and no longer liquidy.
you can serve this immediately with the bananas foster sauce, or if preparing in advance, allow to cool completely at room temperature.
cover the cooled baking dish with aluminum foil, and transfer to the fridge. the croissant bread pudding can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of serving time.
to reheat, simply uncover the baking dish and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through. serve immediately.
for the bananas foster sauce
in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with high sides, combine the granulated sugar and water.
place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and allow the sugar to melt and dissolve, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
the sugar will begin to turn a light amber color once it's melted and continues to cook.
when the sugar is a light brown color, add the cold cubes of butter, whisking constantly. the sugar will bubble and sizzle violently, but continue whisking until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.
remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the heavy cream. again, the sauce will bubble up and hiss, but just whisk the sauce until it is smooth and the heavy cream is incorporated.
add the dark rum, banana liqueur, vanilla extract and salt. whisk to combine.
switch to a silicone spatula, and add the banana coins, folding them into the caramel sauce to ensure they're coated with sauce.
pour the sauce immediately over slices of warm croissant bread pudding.
croissant bread pudding adapted from savory sweet life