"With time you will understand that rushing or forcing the things you want will only make them be different than what you hope they'll be". Jorge Luis Borges
One of my favorite desserts I found it quite recently. At the beginning of this year my Hubby took me to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. The dinner was simply amazing. I had a roasted chicken filled with herbs and cheese so good I almost liked the bones… yep, that good. But what surprised me the most was dessert. We tried something that never called me before. Bread pudding. I have always had this idea of any kind of pudding being a watery gooey mass of something. I guess it was just a matter of finding the right place to try it… along with a nice glass of wine, just in case. I mean, after such a nice dinner surely dessert would be great, right? Well it was more than great, it was divine. So I found myself on a search frenzy, a search for a great bread pudding recipe. It wasn’t easy given the fact that here in Puerto Rico bread pudding seems to takes a trip to the blender before baking because is not chunky like the one I tried. Finally I found what I was looking for at Epicurious. The recipe is for a Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce by Jaime Shannon. I did made some changes.
Instead of making it a soufflé, I used the meringue as topping for the pudding. It came out so good I couldn’t stop giggling ;D
Sadly, I can’t make this again for a while since I don’t feel comfy using whiskey while pregnant, no matter how small the amount.
Here is the recipe for you.
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 medium eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
5 cups day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (Instead of a French bread I used a sweet bread which is a lot denser, and added half a cup of heavy cream to make sure all the bread got moist.)
1/3 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
9 medium egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
To make the bread pudding, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow the bread to soak up the custard. Scatter the raisins in the greased pan, and top with the egg mixture, which will prevent the raisins from burning. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden color and is firm to the touch. If a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean, it is done. It should be moist, not runny or dry. Let cool to room temperature.
To make the sauce, bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return to a boil, and then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool to room temperature.
|mmmm.... finger licking good ;)|
To make the meringue, be certain that you use a bowl and whisk that are clean and that the egg whites are completely free of yolk and at room temperature. In a large bowl or mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, and continue whipping until shiny and thick. Test with a clean spoon. If the whites stand up stiff, like shaving cream, when you pull out the spoon, the meringue is ready. Do not over whip, or the whites will break down.
If you are using sweet bread like me, and are a bit scared about it being too sweet, bake the pudding first, and then taste it, you can then confidently adapt the sugar amount on the sauce. Just make sure to adjust the whiskey too, or it could get too strong.
To serve you can use tow different approaches. Bake the pudding on a nice baking dish to be served at the table. Once the pudding is ready to be served, pour part of the sauce on top. You can save the rest and serve it on a saucer for those who would like extra sauce. Then cover the pudding with the meringue. Take this chance to decorate your dessert, you can have a smooth finish, some spikes or even breakout your piping bag. You can brown it by placing it under the broiler for a bit, or going wild with a hand torch.
|I know!!! Sorry I couldn't wait for the camera....|
On the other hand you can try individual servings like I did. Don’t worry; you don’t need a special dish or anything. Just get the cutest crystal glass you have, serve the pudding on it, pour the sauce and cover with a nice dollop of meringue.
I used a martini glass. I adore them and this two are the firsts ones on my soon to be martini glasses collection, so feel free to donate to the cause ;)