Make a Mexican capirotada by acquiring 1 pound of grated piloncillo or 2 cups of packed, dark brown sugar. You also need 8 cups of water, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 whole cloves and 1 loaf of two-day-old challah or brioche bread, cut into small slices or cubed.
Other ingredients are 2 ripe, peeled-and-sliced bananas, 2/3 cup of chopped and pitted prunes, and 4 ounces of crumbled queso fresco, añejo or cotija cheese. Finally, you also need 1/4 cup of unsalted melted butter and ground cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour the water into a medium saucepan, and turn the heat to medium high. When the water starts to simmer, add the piloncillo, cloves and cinnamon. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer the mixture for about 25 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the consistency is bit syrupy. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and remove the cloves and cinnamon.
Brush the bread slices with the butter, and arrange them on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven, and bake the bread for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Butter a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Arrange a layer of bread on the bottom. It's important to cover the entire bottom. Cover the bread with the banana, prunes and pecans, and pour half of the syrup on top. Add another layer of bread, pour on the rest of the syrup, and top it with the cheese. Dust the top with cinnamon.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake it for 45 to 50 minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes, then serve.