Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dessert Week - bread pudding

With Valentine's Day coming up, it is only fitting that we highlight some of our favorite desserts this week. This one is an incredibly rich bread pudding with just a touch of bourbon to give it some kick.

One may notice that we love using booze in our recipes. In fact, several years ago we came up with the concept of a TV show called "Cooking with Booze" or "Cooking with Spirit" or something along those lines. But alas, a web site and book was created by a couple of Canadian guys called Cooking with Booze, so I guess there goes that idea. But that will never stop us from actually cooking with booze! So there!


Without further ado...Rich Bread Pudding with raisins


Ingredients
Cinnamon Sugar
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Bread pudding
1/3 cup bourbon
3/4 cup raisins
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 T. vanilla extract
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
12 ounces white bread (about a half a loaf) cut into 1 1/2 inch squares
1 cup walnuts (completely optional...I do not care for walnuts so I omit them)
1 1/2 melted butter (unsalted)

For the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside.

For the Pudding: Soak raisins in bourbon until moistened and plumped, 20 to 25 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Whisk eggs, yolk, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk in milk, cream, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in 6 cups prepared bread; mix thoroughly to moisten. Let stand 20 minutes.

Stir plumped raisins, any remaining bourbon, and walnuts (if using) into soaked bread mixture. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Scatter remaining 2 cups bread pieces on top, pushing down gently to partially submerge. Brush exposed bread with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until pudding is deep golden brown, is beginning to rise up sides of baking dish, and jiggles very slightly at the center when shaken, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool until set but still warm, about 45 minutes.

A nice sauce to go on top is this orange sauce...
1 cup orange juice
2 t. orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch

Combine these ingredients in a saucepan and cook until thickened and bubbly. Add a dash of bourbon if you want to stay consistent with the booze theme.

And adding a dollop of whipping cream on top doesn't hurt either.

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