Bread of the Dead Pudding

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I have had a leisurely weekend – we went to see The Nightmare Before Christmas Friday night.  I think I was able to see the 3-D effect with my glasses.  Normally, I cannot see 3-D or those Magic Pictures because my eyes don’t always focus on the same things.  But the glasses seemed to work.  My husband said he got a little dizzy when the camera panned.  I don’t think I saw the film in 2-D before – I liked it.

Yesterday, I stayed home mostly and played around with a new design for CafePress.  It is a new shop called Milagros.  I a still working on the template and collage elements, but I think it is quite nice.   I am using Mexican tin hearts that I have found and re-drawing them.  Then I am using my digital collage method to add color. They are still a work in progress – I have also made a Mardi Gras colored one.

I had a lot of baking plans for this weekend, but only completed one project.  I had bought some Pan de Muertos – or “bread of the dead” a couple of days ago.  I had meant to bring it in and share it at lunch with some other teachers, but it didn’t make it out of my trunk.  Maybe in the back of my mind I already wanted to make bread pudding out of it…  Yesterday, I got it out of the car.  It was not too stale.  Mexican sweet breads are not my thing, really.  I like my breads French.

But Pan de Muertos is really a kind of egg-y bread – similar to brioche, I suppose.  So I sliced it up into cubes and left it out on the counter for a while as I researched brioche bread pudding recipes.  I found one that looked quite easy on Epicurious.com:  here is the link to the original recipe.

I altered it a bit – substituting 1 cup brown sugar for one of the cups of sugar.  I also decided to add a bag of ate fruit candies that I bought in Guanajuato.  Ate is a Mexican candy made from fruit paste.  It comes in quince, guava, and other flavors.  I had a bag of ate squares, and that made up a cup of fruit to add.  I also added raisins because I didn’t think there was enough fruit.   Instead of Frangelico, I used 1/4 cup of calvados (apple brandy) I bought in Paris two years ago.

Here is my recipe:

Bread of the Dead Pudding

1 pan de muertos (large) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 large eggs
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar and 1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup calvados (apple brandy) or dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup ate candy (or buy a brick of ate and cut into cubes)
1/2 cup raisins (I only had brown, but golden might be nice)

Preparation
Place bread cubes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Whisk eggs, whipping cream, milk, sugar, calvados, and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Pour over bread cubes (I used a square baking pan and was afraid it would overflow, so I used a 1/2 cup measure to add the custard a little at a time.  I worked out perfectly) Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing bread into custard mixture. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until pudding is set in center, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

It was really delicious – I served it with Blue Bell Light Ice Cream (Homemade Vanilla) and Hershey’s Dulce de Leche Syrup.  Fabulous!!!!

Speaking of caramel – a couple of years ago, my mother bought me a jar of ice cream topping from The King’s Cupboard.  It was, I believe a chocolate/caramel sauce, and I remember being addicted to it.  Luckily for me at the time, it was only available through her gourmet product selling friends, so I forgot about it after a while.  Well, when I was at Sur la Table, I found more King’s Cupboard products – in particular, a Pear Cinnamon Caramel Sauce.  I did not buy it (yet), but I did do a Google search for the company and found it.  Alas, there does not seem to be any more Chocolate Caramel Sauce.  But they do have cake mixes…  The White Chocolate Hazelnut looks like it might make a good cupcake.

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