A Simple Dessert for a Simple Girl

20141111_171210Happy Veteran’s Day, all! Autumn is progressing, and most of the leaves have disengaged themselves from their places on the branches. It’s turning cold here in Idaho, the temperature never escaping from the twenties today. The high was maybe 27 degrees. Needless to say, this California girl is cold. I continually get scoffs and laughter from the Idaho natives who tell me that I haven’t seen anything yet. Oh, joy. I’ll adapt though. I’m good at that.

Anyway, it’s Veteran’s Day, and I wanted to make something special for my dad, but something that wasn’t too elaborate because, man, sometimes I have to run errands, too, you know. Sometimes, I can’t spend all day in the kitchen.

I’ve grown up hearing stories about my great-grandmother. I don’t remember her at all, but maybe I’ve inherited my love of cooking from her. My dad only ever has wonderful things to say about her cooking and baking, the home that she created, and the kind of person that she was. I wish I could have been old enough to have those memories. According to my father, her bread pudding is one of the best things he has ever tasted. So I searched the old cookbooks to see if we had her recipe somewhere, and, of course, it was nowhere to be found.

I searched good old trusty Pinterest for recipes and found one that looked promising. Actually, the pudding turned out pretty well and, best of all, it was refreshingly easy! Hardly anything is better than a delectable dessert that requires a minimal effort.  As it turns out, bread pudding was perfect for this biting, cold November day.

The basis of this recipe is challah bread. I suppose that french bread or older slices of white bread would work just as well. But there’s something about the make-up, the look, the sweet taste of challah that made this recipe special for me. I was under the impression that bread had to be rock hard or old in order to make a good bread pudding. False. This challah bread was practically still warm from the supermarket’s bakery, and I think this turned out just fine. So either type of bread works well.

I diced the bread into one-inch cubes (more or less), set them aside, and started on the batter—eggs (lots of eggs), milk, sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg (my own addition).  Whisk that all together, and what do you got? Bippity boppity boo!

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You’re just about done. Add in the bread and the cup of raisins and fold them in. *Note: The recipe didn’t say to flour the raisins, but the moment I put them in there, I realized that I should have floured them to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter. You might want to try flouring them, if you include them at all. Pour into a buttered 9×13 dish.

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Chill this concoction for 2 hours in the fridge. Then move it right along to a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes.

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The recipe from Tanisha on her MyKnottedLife blog includes a Spiced Rum Sauce. Silly me, I forgot to pick up rum while I was running my errands today. It tickles me to death. How does one forget the rum? I don’t know. I tried to substitute with rum extract, but I didn’t put in enough, so it ended up tasting a lot like the caramel topping I made for the bars last week. I’m over the caramel sauce right now, so I didn’t use it on my piece of bread pudding. Honestly, it was sweet enough without more sauce. But I’m sure the real rum sauce is great.

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This is the nice, right-out-of-the-oven picture of the bread pudding. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s normal that the top falls after a few minutes . Let it cool just a bit, then serve and enjoy! It’s a gooey, flavorful, old-fashioned dessert that everyone will love. My idol, Ina Garten, likes to take an old fashioned favorite and add a little twist to the recipe from time to time. I think I’ll follow in her footsteps and do the same the next time I make this recipe. Maybe some banana or diced pineapple will be a nice replacement for the traditional raisins? Mmmmm, yes, indeed.

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Here’s the link to the recipe on myknottedlife.com: Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce.

Until next time everyone!

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