Monday, 9 July 2012

Spiced Bread Pudding with Rum Butter Sauce

My unofficial taste-tester gives this bread pudding two thumbs up ("All the thumbs I am capable of giving.") Really, what more can I say?

Perhaps that this is comfort food at its warm, scrumptious finest, combined with a little thriftiness. Or that it's a great way to use up unappetizing, old bread.

Or maybe just: it has cream in it. And rum.

I've had my fair share of dry/boring/flavorless bread puddings. Dishes that clearly exist merely to use up bread that no one will eat, bringing nothing but shame to the noble name of dessert. Believe me, this is not one of those. This boozy bread pudding is moist and cinnamon-y. It tastes like cinnamon french toast doused with some very decadent syrup. It is finger-licking, bowl-scraping goodness.

I ate it straight out of the pan. And I am not ashamed.

Bread Pudding with Spiced Rum Sauce
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups cubed day-old bread (I used a mixture of leftover challah, white, and wholemeal bread)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons rum (I used Captain Morgan's Spiced but any kind will do)

In a small dish, pour the rum over the raisins and set aside to soak.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and cream. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and blend thoroughly.

Add the cubed bread and rum-soaked raisins and stir until the bread is thoroughly coated. (Use a large spoon, use your hands. Embrace the goo.)

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.

Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F).

After the bread mixture has rested for a while, tip it into a greased baking dish (I used a 9 inch cake tin but a square metal or glass baking dish works just as well) and bake for 30-35 minutes (until the top is golden brown) and then allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Serve warm, with a drizzle (or the drizzle's less elegant cousin, the slosh) of rum butter sauce or on its own.

Spiced Rum Butter Sauce
110 grams butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons spiced rum

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar and salt. Keep stirring until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

Pour in the cream and continue stirring to blend. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the mixture thickens.

Stir in the rum and simmer for another couple minutes before removing from the heat. Allow to cool and thicken in the saucepan.

This can be made in advance and refrigerated, just wait for it to cool before putting it in a refrigerator-able container and reheat before serving.

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