Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce

just competed in a chili cook-off. Believe me, it was no big deal. I have two best friends as neighbors and to spice up our lives on the slopes of Maunakea, we have a book club and a cooking competition.  Needless to say, I didn't win (although I do think mine was the BEST) but while my chili was in the oven I prepared a bread pudding from a recipe that I found on In fact, Epicurious is now one of my favorite websites. It's where I found my chili recipe (which, again, I think was the best) and it also houses my new favorite bread pudding recipe. The recipe actually came from Bon Appetit October 2001. I wish I had pictures of my winning bread pudding (no, there was not a contest for dessert but it won everyone's hearts, lol) but I only took pictures of what I thought would be my award winning chili. I was focused.

I love bread pudding. I think Kuhio Grill in Hilo has one of the best. I make it once in a while (when I have leftover bread) and although very good, it just doesn't quite make it to the top of the "best bread pudding in the world" list. But I think this one does. I considered baking it in a water bath (as was recommended by one of the reviews on the site) but transporting the unbaked bread pudding from my home to the neighbor's (where the chili cookoff was being held) was too traumatic for me (sloping hill = slopping bread pudding liquid) and I gave up on the thought and just threw the damn thing in the oven. This bread pudding was so light that we actually scooped it out with a big spoon rather than cut it into squares. And then we drizzled the spiced rum sauce. Gosh. I think I might make some more tonight. Maybe just a half recipe.

Bread Pudding

  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk (I didn't have whole milk. In fact, I used fat free milk, the only kind we house in the fridge)
  • 2 cups sugar (I happened to use vanilla sugar, my latest favorite thing: a couple of split vanilla beans in my jar of sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (I only had 1/4 cup of whipping cream. I used half and half for the rest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1-pound loaf cinnamon challah or cinnamon-swirl bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used some formerly frozen sweet bread rolls and just kind of estimated about 10-12 rolls)
  • 1 cup golden raisins (my family is not that hot on raisins so I used 3 of those LITTLE boxes of regular raisins)

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Add milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla; whisk to blend well. Stir in bread and raisins. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. (I actually refrigerated it for about 3. I don't think it matters how long). There was a LOT of liquid that didn't get absorbed. I was worried that I didn't have enough bread. But all turned out well.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pudding uncovered until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm with Spiced Rum Sauce.

  • Spiced Rum Sauce

    • 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons spiced rum or dark rum
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add cream, rum, and cinnamon and bring to simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Serve warm. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

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