Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Countdown: The Perfect Bread Pudding Recipe


Ever since I had apple bread pudding at Taste of Atlanta I've been obsessed  with making it for Thanksgiving. I love bread pudding. Is gooey, decadent and luscious. I've searched for the perfect recipe for the past days and not one single one speaks to me, that is until I came across Chef Troy Ellis "Creme Brulee Bread Pudding". What I love about this recipe is that he uses the same custard you would use for a creme brulee and he adds raisins that have been soaked in Grand Marnier. For the grand finale he adds toasted pecans and a  Bourbon caramel sauce. Sounds delish right? I'm telling you, I can't wait to do my own version for Thanksgiving. I might add a twist or two (I never follow a recipe to the tee). Maybe I will add caramelized apples and spiced pecans to accentuate the  holiday flavor. Who knows, as long as is bread pudding is all good!


Ingredients

Bread Pudding
1 loaf of stale Challah Bread cubed
½ gallon of Half & Half
2 tbsp of Butter
4 Eggs Yolks
2 Eggs
1 Vanilla Bean
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¾ Cup of Golden Raisins
½ Cup Grand Marnier
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans

Caramel Bourbon Sauce
1 Stick of unsalted butter
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
½ cup of Heavy Cream
¼ cup of your favorite Bourbon

Directions

Raisins

Pour Grand Marnier in a pot on the stovetop.   Heat until it starts to simmer.  Then remove from the heat and add raisins.  Allow raisins to soak in the Grand Marnier until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Custard

1. Pour Half & Half in a pot and heat on the stove top on medium low heat.  Split Vanilla Bean in half and scraped seeds into the pot of half & half, then add the split bean as well.  To this mixture add the two Cinnamon sticks.  It should be heated for about 10 minutes, but it shouldn't come up to a simmer or boil.

2. In a bowl combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Whisk together until they are incorporated.

3. Remove the half & half liquid from the stove top and strain it into a bowl.  This removes the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.

4. Then temper the egg and sugar mixture with the half & half liquid.  To do this ladle a little of the hot liquid into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk.  Repeat this process 4 to 5 more times so that eggs are slowly brought up to the same temperature as the liquid.  Once this has been done, pour the half & half, egg, and sugar mixture back into the remaining half & half liquid.  Then pour the mixture back into a pot and put it back on the stove on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  The custard will start to thicken.  After 5 minutes strain the hot custard liquid into a bowl and add the stale cubed Challah bread. Allow the bread to soak in the custard liquid for 30 minutes.


5. After 30 minutes fold in the toasted pecans and raisins.  Then add a pinch of nutmeg.  Save a little bit of the raisins and pecans for garnish. 

6. Now pour the mixture into a buttered loaf or square pan. 

7. Place your pan into a water-bath in a 350-degree oven.  Cook for 35 – 40 minutes or until the custard has set. If you insert a toothpick it should come out clean.

8. Once it is done, remove it from the oven and let stand for 10 – 15 minutes. 


Bourbon Caramel Sauce

In a saucepan melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add the brown sugar. Once the brown sugar has dissolved, add bourbon, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and remove from the heat.  Using a wooden spoon stir caramel sauce until it is fully incorporated.

To Serve
On a plate ladle a nice amount of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Place a piece of the bread pudding on top of the caramel sauce.  Then pour a little more of the caramel sauce on top.  Then finish by topping with the left over pecans and raisins. 

To view more recipes from Chef Troy Ellis please visit: http://troystaste.blogspot.com/

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