My First Bread Pudding (And It Turned Out Wonderful!)

I want to start out by letting you all know that I have never made Bread Pudding before; however, I am familiar with the basic ingredients. I have decided to try my hand at this dessert and of course, add my little touches to it so that I can call it my own. Here we go again on a journey where who the hell knows will lead us to. In any case, here are the ingredients we need for this trip:

2 large croissants, cut by hand in 1 to 2 inch pieces
1/2 loaf Challah Bread, cut by hand in 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 large banana, diced
1 cup dried raisins
2 1/2 cups half and half (you may use fat free kind)
2 heaping tablespoons Hart's custard mix (or you can make your own.. yuck)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Brandy (alcohol free you can use brandy extract and orange zest)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash cinnamon powder
2 egg yolks

Let's begin by doing all our prep work with our ingredients. When you dice the bananas, add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice in a small bowl and stir in the banana, cover with plastic and set aside. This will keep the banana from browning. Any citric acid will work. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, add the custard mix,  sugar, Grand Marnier, vanilla extract, dash of cinnamon, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the half and half. Mix well. It will start hardening to a real thick mixture, that's ok. In a sauce pan, warm the rest of the half and half on medium low heat.

In another bowl, add the bread and croissant, raisins, and strained bananas, and mix with your hands so that all ingredients are well blended together. Now you can concentrate on your sauce pan of half and half. Do not bring to a boil. Be sure to stir constrantly with a spatula so milk doesn't stick to the bottom.

When half and half is just beginning to steam a bit, remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes. Now slowly add half and half to the liquid mixture you made and stir as you pour. When finished, continue to stir for a minute and then pour all of that back into the pan and heat back up to where liquid begins to thicken. Bring to a slow slow boil. Stir constantly whilst heat is at medium low. You will notice a thickening process. If it gets too thick, add 1/4 cup of half and half. Constantly stir for about 10 minutes more.

In the large bowl that you have your bread mixture, add the custard and with a large spoon, mix everything well so that all the bread is moist and has absorbed the custard. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Fill the loaf pan with the mixture and be sure to pat it down well so there are no air pockets. Fill to the top. If you have extra mixture (as I did), take a second smaller loaf pan and pour the rest of the mixture in that. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400 and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature.

Be sure your bread pudding has cooled and you're ready to serve before you prepare your sauce. To prepare your sauce, on medium low, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan, then add 1 teaspoon of Hart's custard powder and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Mix well and then add 2 tablespoons of Brandy or Grand Marnier (or extract) and slowly add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue to heat on medium low until sauce comes to a bubble. Allow to slow boil at low temperature for 15 minutes, constantly stirring. You may add a little milk if sauce thickens too much. You want it to be of the consistency of egg nogg, ok?

Take a serving plate and ladle a small amount of the sauce to cover bottom of the dish. Set a slice of bread pudding about 1 inch thick on top of the sauce and pour a little of the sauce over the pudding. You may sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon and serve. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Your bread pudding looks so good. A great first attempt! Congrats. Thanks for the tip with the orange juice and banana slices.