Friday, May 27, 2011

Bread Pudding

Today, I went out for lunch with two of my friends, Jonathan and Shaun. We hadn’t gone out for lunch together in a while so we decided to go to our favourite sushi place for a couple rolls.


Jonathan is one of the nicest people I know and he’s been one of my best friends since eighth grade. We live in the same area(-ish) so we go home together a lot. I’ve always wanted a best friend who lived next door and since my previous neighbours, whom I was good friends with, moved away three summers ago, Jonathan is the next best thing.

Shaun is the guy who works at McDonalds. He works at McDonalds but we actually respect him for having a job. I know my little brother Kyle respects him (even though the first time Kyle met Shaun was in the boys’ bathroom...) for getting a job just after turning fifteen; Kyle’s told me more than once that he wants to work this summer. Shaun is also the one who I can count on whenever I need help with a club bake sale or fundraiser. He’s the reliable one.


So as we were making our way to the sushi place, I told them about the delicious bread pudding I’d made the night before.

“Hey guys, guess what?” I said, with a smile on my face (I can’t help it; talking about food makes me happy). “I made bread pudding last night.”


Jonathan made a noncommittal response. “Mhmm,” he replied. He had probably lost interest after I said “bread pudding,” but I took it as a sign to continue. I talked animatedly, describing how surprised I was that the bread pudding tasted so good, having been made with half a stale baguette. Jonathan nodded absently while Shaun began talking to him about some video game.   

I sighed and asked Jonathan what I had just said. His eyes took on a look of slight panic as he glanced at Shaun and then back at me.

“Um,” he said, “You were talking about how the bread pudding tastes good.” Then he turned his attention back to Shaun. 


I rolled my eyes. He’d gotten the answer right, but I couldn’t blame him for not clinging onto my every word. I often tuned out whenever Shaun and Jonathan talked about video games, which I had no interest in. Of course, I’m sure Jonathan and Shaun would have been more hooked had I mentioned that I would give some pudding to them...

Click below for the recipe.


Bread Pudding

I'm convinced that the person who invented bread pudding is a genius. It tastes like a custard with the texture of pudding and a crisp, sugary top. It's so good that I'm almost tempted to buy baguettes and let them go stale just so I can make more bread pudding.


Ingredients:
  • ½ large baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar (preferably cane sugar)
  • 1 ¼ cups whipping cream, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (Turbinado sugar is a coarser sugar than regular granulated sugar. If you don’t have turbinado, just use regular sugar.)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar. Whisk in cream, milk and vanilla. Add in the bread cubes and toss until coated. Pour into a 9-inch square baking dish, making sure that there is enough custard to almost cover the bread cubes (only the tops of the cubes should be visible. If there isn't enough custard, add a little cream and stir). Let stand for about 15-30 minutes. 



Place baking dish in a water bath and sprinkle top of pudding with sugar. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set in the middle and the center of the pudding springs back when pressed. Remove baking dish from water bath. Serve warm with fresh fruit. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated before serving.

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