Archive for: bread pudding
A basic bread pudding is like a blank canvas because you can put so many different flavors into one basic recipe. You can stir in chocolate, fruit or nuts to a simple vanilla bread pudding, or you could take things a step further and infuse the whole pudding with more intense flavors. This is a Coffee Bread Pudding, and it is definitely a recipe for coffee lovers. Coffee and cinnamon flavor the custard that gives this bread pudding a delicious coffee n’ cream flavor that any coffee fan is sure to enjoy.
The coffee flavor in this bread pudding comes from instant espresso powder (something like Starbucks Via works equally well) because it allows you to easily introduce an intense coffee flavor to the pudding. Even strong coffee would water down the custard that is the base of this pudding, and you want bread pudding to be rich and creamy, so it is best to stick with as much milk/dairy (as opposed to water) as possible. Instant espresso powder is also very easy to work with, and since it dissolves very easily in warm milk, you will be able to put this recipe together easily and won’t have to wait too long to taste the results.
When the bread pudding is still warm from the oven, it will be moist and custardy – as bread pudding should be. It isn’t as “wet” as some bread pudding recipes, which makes it easy to slice and serve without making a mess. It is excellent when served plain, since you get a good coffee flavor and a slight crunch from the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top of the pudding before baking, but the recipe makes a generous batch and you will probably have leftovers. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and this can cause the pudding to firm up quite a bit, so you will probably want to warm it up and serve it with a little sauce. Vanilla custard sauce is an excellent option that goes perfect with the coffee flavor, but if you want something cold to contrast with the warm pudding, vanilla or Coffee Ice Cream are good choices, too.
Sweet potato casserole is a must-have Thanksgiving side dish for many. It isn’t one that my family ever served when I was growing up, but after you’ve had a taste of one it is easy to see why the sweet side dish is such a favorite. I used it as inspiration for this Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Marshmallow Topping. It’s a tribute to that side dish – complete with a layer of toasted marshmallows on top – that is meant to be served as dessert.
This bread pudding is made with sweet potato puree, brown sugar and a warm blend of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. The custard mixture looks and smells a lot like a very liquidy version of sweet potato pie filling. It is poured over cubed bread and left to soak for a bit before being poured into a baking dish and baked in the oven. I bake the bread pudding until it is set, then sprinkle the marshmallows over the top and slide the dish back under the broiler for a minute to toast them. I like the look of mini marshmallows, but full sized marshmallows make a fine topping, as well.
The bread pudding is rich, but not too heavy, and you can really taste the sweet potato. The spices – especially the hint of cardamom, which I love with sweet potato – give it a really nice depth of flavor, too. The bread pudding isn’t too sweet on its own (unlike some sweet potato casseroles!), so the sweetness from the marshmallow is a nice finish for this dessert, and also means that you don’t need to make a separate sauce for serving.
I typically use challah when I make bread pudding, as the tender and eggy loaves make a great base for a sweet dessert. If you don’t have challah, you can use something like brioche or even plain white bread. While you can pretty much use any kind of bread to make a bread pudding, I prefer not to use whole grain breads because some of them have a strong flavor and take away from the dessertiness of a sweet pudding. And since you’re topping this particular bread pudding off with a layer of toasted marshmallows anyway, you might as well not worry about whether you’re getting whole grains in it when you’re indulging in a slice.
Bread pudding can be a surprisingly versatile dish. The combination of custard and bread is easily flavored with all kinds of ingredients. For instance, you can stir in citrus zest, dried fruit, fresh berries or even spike it with a bit of alcohol. The most popular way to dress up a bread pudding, though, is with a strongly flavored sauce and my bread pudding here is no exception. This Vanilla Bread Pudding with Blackberry Sauce is a favorite dessert to make during the summer when berries are in season and
This bread pudding is a little bit lighter than the bread pudding that you might find in a restaurant. This is primarily because I make it with milk (and you can use whole, low fat or even skim), rather than heavy cream. The pudding still has a smooth, rich custard feel and flavor but a lightness that suits the berry sauce. I put in a generous splash of vanilla as well as a pinch of cinnamon, and also added some dried cherries for a little added texture and sweetness. The fresh berry sauce really pops with the vanilla and cinnamon.
You can also make this sauce with blueberries, raspberries or use a combination of those two fruits with the blackberries for a mixed berry sauce. I like a chunky, rustic sauce that has lots of pieces of whole berries in it, but you can purée and strain the sauce if you prefer to eliminate any seeds.
For many, panettone is a staple of Christmas celebrations. It is a lightly sweetened yeast bread that is traditionally served around Christmas in Italy. The bread is rich with butter and eggs, and is packed with dried fruits and candied citrus. The fluffy texture, as well as its sweetness, put it somewhere between a bread and a cake. The beautifully packaged breads also make popular gifts for friends and coworkers, and many people end up with two or three around the house in addition to one that they bought themselves. The breads can be sliced and eaten plain, but once you have more than one you’re going to start to wonder what else you can do with them. Here are five ideas that will let you use up that leftover Panettone:
- Toast – It may sound simple, but panettone makes wonderful slices of toast that make a great addition to any breakfast. The flavors in the already buttery bread are enhanced by toasting, and the sweetness is brought out of the dried fruits, too. Spread toasted slices generously with butter (and even sprinkle with sugar if you’re looking for a sweet treat) before serving.
- Panettone French Toast – Another take on toast, french toast is a good way to use up any extra bread that you might have in your kitchen. The rich bread makes an excellent base for the eggy batter and makes a very indulgent french toast recipe. I like to add a pinch of cinnamon to my batter, as it goes very well with the citrus in the panettone.
- Eggnog Bread Pudding – Eggnog is another common leftover from the Christmas holiday. Combining eggnog and panettone into this decadent dessert allows you to really clear out your kitchen. The bread pudding is easy to make, and with the vanilla-nutmeg flavor of eggnog and all those flavorful fruits from the panettone, you will get a lot of holiday flavor in each serving.
- Streusel-Topped Baked French Toast – This breakfast casserole dish is a cross between french toast, bread pudding and coffee cake. It’s great for serving a big crowd and will use up a lot of extra bread (panettone or otherwise). The dish is rich and custardy, but eggier than a regular bread pudding, and it is topped off with a sweet, buttery streusel before baking.
- Rum Cake – Some panettones are spiked with a bit of amaretto or other liqueurs. If you have a whole loaf of the stuff to use up, poke some holes in it with a long skewer and generously douse it with a rum-sugar syrup (amounts vary, but 1 cup rum with 1/3 cup sugar is a good place to start). Allow the bread to sit for a day or two – well-wrapped – to soak it all up, then serve slices of the extra-moist cake as a festive treat at New Year’s.
Bread puddings are one of those dishes that can be incredible versatile. Like a basic muffin recipe where you can incorporate all different kinds of fruits, nuts and other goodies to change the flavor completely, you can do the same thing with a bread pudding. A basic bread pudding gives you a rich, custardy base for both sweet and savory dishes – and this Fig and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding happens to have both sweet and savory in one dish.
Figs and goat cheese are a great combination any time they meet. I used dried figs in this recipe, which have a rich and intense sweetness to them. Mine were very moist, but you can rehydrate dried figs in a bit of hot water if yours are on the dry side. You can also use fresh figs in this recipe if you have them. The sweetness of the figs contrasts very well with the goat cheese, which has a rich, tangy cream cheese-like flavor with a slightly savory/salty finish to it. The cheese incorporates easily into the bread pudding, but holds its shape and doesn’t melt, so you get pockets of sweet fig and savory cheese in different bites as you eat. The custard for the bread pudding is made with buttermilk, milk and a little vanilla extract.
This bread pudding sounds very grown up, and while it will certainly appeal to adults looking for something a little different, it has a beautifully balanced flavor that almost anyone will enjoy. The dish is fantastic for breakfast or brunch, but also works very well when served for dessert. Serve it plain or dust it with a little bit of confectioners’ sugar to highlight the sweetness of the figs and the vanilla in the custard. It is good both warm and cold (and leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days).