Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

We're back from a semi-planned trip to LA and with bread pudding on my mind. I was hoping for some culinary inspiration there and this is where it led me. Thoughts of making bread pudding and why does LA not have better public transportation? We spent a good part of the trip in the car, driving, then sitting in traffic, a lot of traffic, where a 15 minute destination becomes an hour. Trying to avoid the freeways for obvious reasons then discovering apple maps does not have an "avoid highways" option and being so grateful for google maps. But back to the dessert. Two spottings for Bread Pudding basically did it for me, one at Venice beach, and we didn't have it because we were on our way to lunch in Malibu to eat at Geoffrey's where they also had bread pudding, but no time for dessert because it was back on the road again! And what a road, from Malibu we went through the Canyons heading east and down towards Hollywood, beautiful desert-like mountains, and no traffic! 

Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive

Malibu

Malibu

Topanga Canyon

Topanga Canyon

Well, at least through the mountains. So I'm not sure if bread pudding is a really big thing in LA, but burgers sure are, there are burgers everywhere, and we ate burgers too! We went to The Counter one day, on our extreme eating day, which consisted of Greek souvlaki in Silver Lake, tacos and burrito at Macho's Tacos followed by the gigantic burger at The Counter with a shake to boot. An attempt to flush out all the car toxins I suppose. As much as I'm going on about the traffic and such, we would go back again, I think maybe just a little more prepared for the traffic situation.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

This bread pudding is absolutely yummy, the recipe is adapted from Tartine, I don't have the book but I found the recipe here. I opted for a bourbon sauce rather than the caramel, and it works great, especially with the fresh berries, so I wholeheartedly recommend the bourbon sauce.

When I looked at all the ingredients that were to go into the small loaf pan I just didn't think it was going to happen, but it did. Well mostly did, you will end up with about a cup of egg mixture left over, which you can bake into a custard.

One note about the baking of the pudding, the recipe says to cover the pan in foil, which I did, well, this pudding rises, and it does stick to the foil, kinda messing up the top of the pudding, so I recommend buttering the foil and keeping it loosely covered on the pan. Recipe below. Enjoy. Beep! Beep!

bread_pudding_pan.jpg

Bread Pudding
(adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen and Tartine)

  • 6 slices Challah Bread* - cut 1-inch thick
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup + 2 T. sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Butter for pan

For a 9"x5" Loaf pan

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet, bake about 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, remove to cool. Butter the loaf pan.

In large bowl whisk the eggs, add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla and salt until well combined. Pour the egg mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.

Place the toasted bread in the loaf pan, breaking apart as needed. Pour egg mixture over the slices and let soak for at least 10 minutes or longer. Pushing down on them to absorb the liquid. Add as much of the remaining liquid as possible to the top of pan.

Cover the pan with buttered foil (loosely as the pudding will rise and stick to foil).

Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Insert knife to see if it's done, if there's too much liquid in the center let it go for an additional 10 minutes. A little liquid is ok as it will continue to cook and set up once out of the oven.

Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

* I couldn't find brioche anywhere so I used challah bread, which works just as well. 

Bourbon Sauce
(adapted from epicurious

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (scraped seeds)
  • Pinch of salt

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until thickened, whisking frequently, about 3-6 minutes. Cool slightly.

You can add the berries to the sauce while it's warm or pour sauce over berries on the the pudding.

Note: I doubled the original recipe, this will yield about 1 cup of sauce

pudding with fork.jpg