January 7, 2011

Maple Bread Pudding

I made this bread pudding yesterday, although my hankering for one started two weeks ago.  Knowing I couldn’t get challah locally, I made a loaf of my own and sliced off enough for bread pudding to keep seperate.  Then I had the task of deciding which recipe to use, what flavours to go with.  I debated back and forth between two, a chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel and a cranberry maple bread pudding.  I love chocolate, a well known fact, but being that we have copious amount of chocolate leftover from Christmas I decied to steer away.  The cranberry maple bread pudding recipe I was attracted to was from a Martha Stewart magazine but it called for 2 cups of creme fraiche, which costs an arm and a leg around here.  I also figured that any recipe calling on that amount of decadence maybe wasn’t a very good recipe to start with.

In the end I choose a very simple, but perfectly so, bread pudding.  It was creamy and custard-y underneath and chewy and toasted on top, flavoured with nutmeg and cinnamon.  In place of rum I added maple syrup and then to top it off I made a maple cream sauce, which was very very good, though I did have some internal debate wether to make it after I saw the amount of creme and corn syrup it was asking for.  I’m glad I did, and I’m glad I sent it all away!

Maple Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce

The bread pudding recipe was adapted from here and the maple cream sauce from here.

Topping:
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pudding:
4 eggs plus one egg yolk
150 g (3/4 c) sugar
2 1/2 c milk (at least two percent)
2 1/2 c cream
3 Tbsp rum (or maple syrup)
1 Tbsp vanilla
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
12 oz good quality challah or american style white bread, cut 3/4 of an inch thick and into squares of 1 1/2 inches
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
Heat oven to 325 F and grease 13x9 inch pan.  
Whisk eggs, yolk and sugar in a large bowl until well blended.  Whisk in cream, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.  Soak 6 cups of bread in the mixture for 20 minutes to soften.  Gently pour mixture into baking dish.  Scatter two cups of remaining bread and press down gently to submerge.  Brush the exposed bread with butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture.  Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the pudding turns golden brown and jiggles slightly when you shake it.  Remove from oven and set to cool.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.  
Maple Cream Sauce
30 g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups of cream
6 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat.  Once melted add the cream, maple syrup and corn syrup. Allow mixture to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until it is 1/3 reduced.  Make sure to stir often to keep the bottom from burning.  When finished transfer to a container in the fridge and cover the top of the sauce (with the wrap touching the sauce) to keep a skin from forming.  Cool.

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