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Bread Pudding Secrets Shared
Entertaining the Question
February, 2006 - Issue #16
Dear Beacons of Culinary Bliss,
As a guest at a recent RSVP catered party, I met the love of my life. No, not a drop-dead-gorgeous doctor, but something more satiating and sweet - your Bread Pudding. Fess up, Darlings. I won't have another Valentine's Day without the delectable comfort of pudding-goodness at my side.


Oh, the month of love! Bread, cream, eggs and spices - such simple ingredients can create such an addictive dish!

Have fun with your bread pudding. Did you know the rage is to use Krispy Kreme donuts as the bread? We use banana bread, brioche or pumpkin bread and add chocolate chips, dried fruits and more. We make whiskey or rum sauce, and when we feel vivacious, we melt vanilla ice cream as a substitute for Cream Anglaise!

On our catering menu we feature savory bread puddings, and enjoy making them in individual ramekins. Our Rosemary Goat Cheese Bread Pudding is a popular request.

Bread Pudding is a sweet that soothes the soul. Enjoy it when the big world is too much to bear, and let it bring back memories of favorite times gone by.

When baking Bread Pudding be sure to use a water bath. Put the baking dish or individual ramekins in a larger baking pan (a roasting pan often works well) and pour hot water at least halfway up the height of the smaller pan. By moderating the temperature around the custard, the water bath (impress your friends and call it a bain-marie) makes for more even cooking.

Here are two of our most favorite bread puddings. Get ready to fall in love!

Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup pecan pieces
6 cups day-old bread cubes (1/2-inch)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking dish (10x14) with two tablespoons of the melted butter. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, cream and milk. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, bananas, pecans, bread and chocolate and stir to blend thoroughly.

Stir the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter into the pudding mixture and pour into the baking dish. Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and pour hot water in to within an inch of the top of the dish. Bake until firm, about one hour.

I love this Mexican Bread Pudding. I use bolillos from the Mexican Panaderia on Walnut Street.

Capirotada
8 tbsp unsalted butter
4 Bolillos or 1/2 loaf French Bread, cut into small cubes
1 pound brown sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 pound cream cheese, chilled and chopped
Mexican Crema


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Melt the butter in medium saucepan, add the bread cubes and stir to coat evenly. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp. Remove the bread and turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the chopped apples, walnuts, cream cheese and toasted bread cubes. Drizzle with the reserved sugar syrup and mix to even distribute. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake uncovered, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Then bake an additional five minutes without stirring, until the top is golden brown and crusty and the liquid is almost gone. Serve warm with Mexican Crema.

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Cindy and Tamra feed the souls of their loved ones with good cooking. They also own RSVP Catering.
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