Thursday, December 25, 2008
A different Bread Pudding not Capirotada
The main difference between regular bread pudding and Capirotada is that in the Capirotada it is often done with cheeses and nuts, sometimes even piloncillos.
This one is not.
This is more of the traditional old standard that is super easy to make.
It's also great for large crowds. I catered a "New Orleans" style picnic a few years ago for about a 100 people and this was one easy fix ahead dish.
In catering you try and do stuff that you can do ahead of time and just heat up or do one last thing on site and the result will make you appear to be a master!
The secret, oh oh, I am giving my secret away, which is different from all other bread pudding recipes is this.
You have to promise to to tell anyone about it, and you too will have some great accolades to this dish. ( send cash in unmarked bills to secret address)
The secret is to use day or two day old pastries instead of stale old bread. Not that you can't make a good bread pudding with stale bread, this makes it unique to the point where people will ask what the secret is.
The hardest part is finding day or two day old stuff you can use. I usually will go to my local bakery that has pastries and buy their "on sale" items. What you buy is not as important so just buy halfway decent stuff.
A mix of doughnuts, bear claws, cream filled or jam filled snails or danishes are great.
Old raisin or cinnamon bread is also fine, the more diverse the items the better it will be.
In a pinch if no old stuff is available I will buy croissants, muffins, banana bread, almost anything that has some flavor. I wouldn't mix stuff like Jalapeno bread or Rosemary Ciabatta for this dessert. Once you get the hang of these recipe you can experiment with lots of other stuff like throwing in tart apple slices or even peaches. Once I made it with bananas and instead of the vanilla extract I used Banana extract, it turned out really good.
You will need to make a custard mix, which is pretty easy, take the eggs, cream, (or milk) cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and beat together until all is homogenized. add the milk, your slurry should look like thick egg nog.
Take the pastry and break apart by hand into 1 inch chunks or pieces. Place the bread into a 1/2 hotel pan or a pan about 12x12x3inch casserole dish, cover with the custard mix, be sure all the bread is wet and soggy, let soak for about 1/2 hour, just before placing in the oven take your butter and toss the butter pats all over the bread mixture, then place into a 350 oven and cook for about 45 minutes.
While cooking the bread will puff up, check it after about 35 minutes, stick a wooden matchstick or skewer into the middle and see if it comes out clean. if it does, pull it out and let cool, if not, leave in the oven for another 10 minutes and check again. I would not leave in the oven longer than one hour, even if it is a little under set, it will still have moisture, better than all dried up!
Stuff you will need:
8 large eggs. Beaten
10 to 12 cups pulled apart old pastries
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract or Almond extract
1 teas ground cinnamon
1/2 tea ground nutmeg
1.5 cups sugar
3 cups milk or half and half
1 cup raisins ( for better flavor soak in rum overnight)
1 stick of butter
I would omit this if you are trying to stick to some kind of a health diet or don't want a heart attack after eating this. This sauce on top of old cardboard would make it taste great!
2 sticks of salted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (or so) bourbon whiskey ( or rum if you like the taste of rum better)
1/4 cup whipping cream
Melt butter, add the sugar and mix until all melted and mixed, add the cinnamon and cream, mix and then add the bourbon, you MUST keep this warm otherwise it will harden and turn into a glop.( A tasty glop but still a glop)
Serve the bread pudding then ladle a spoon of the sauce on top of the bread pudding.....Not too much it is very rich. If it cools simply warm up again in an oven or double boiler.