bread pudding

Posted by pamela on Dec. 27, 09 | 0 COMMENTS

bread pudding 2

origin

A couple of years ago I had a marvelous realization: I loved good bread puddings. And this realization of course made me want to learn to make a good bread pudding. I searched for recipes of various shapes and sizes to find the key ingredients, timing, and baking. Then I had fun. It is a perfect winter dessert – not too sweet, but moist and warm and begging for a cup of coffee, tea, or milk to go alongside. The recipe was resurrected for Christmas dinner this year and enjoyed by all. This is an approximate recipe – modify it to your heart’s content.


ingredients

pudding

  • 2/3 – 3/4 loaf of American style French bread (goal: a white bread that does not have a thick crust – you want a crust that will ‘disappear’ rather than become tough in the custard)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 4 small eggs or 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1+ 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 medium apple (honey crisp, braeburn, or one with equally good texture and flavor)
  • Rum

topping

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

instructions

  • The night before, put the raisins in enough rum to cover them, cover with a plate, and leave out.
  • Cut bread into 1 inch squares and let sit out for an afternoon to dry the bread. (You can also cut these the night before and place in a bag to let dry. If the bread has thicker crust on it, cut the crust off of the bread as it will become tough when baked.)
  • Dice the apple into very small pieces (approx. 1/2 the size of a raisin). You do not need to peel the apple. Toss apple with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 Tbsp rum.
  • Beat the eggs until they are thick and foamy. Add the coconut and cow’s milks, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  • In a large bowl, toss the bread, raisins (drained of the excess rum), and apples. Place the mixture in a greased 8 x12 baking dish. Pour the egg & milk mixture over. Leave out for 30 min – 1 hr before baking, pushing the bread down with a fork or spatula to soak up the egg & milk mixture regularly.
  • Melt the butter. Mix in flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Use your hands to spread this topping over the pudding in small pieces.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes (until the pudding has set). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 hearty servings.

carrot cake

Posted by pamela on Jul. 10, 09 | 1 COMMENT

carrot-cake1

origin

This is the carrot cake recipe that I grew up with – one of those recipes that mom would make and everyone always loved. It is the recipe against which I judge every piece of carrot cake I buy – and no restaurant or store has measured up. And, yes, when I want to, I do make this a multi-layer cake that is picture perfect cake (however, I never add silly little iced carrots). So this is that recipe with, as always, a couple of modifications that make it even better.

ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup plain apple sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

instructions

Mix all dry ingredients. Add and mix the wet ingredients except for the carrots and coconut. Fold in the carrots and coconut, one at a time. Bake in 9×13 plan at 350 degrees F for 45 min or until done (toothpick comes out clean).

When cake has cooled, frost with homemade cream cheese frosting – trust me when I say that it is worth the effort. (Approximate frosting recipe: 6 oz cream cheese, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp milk, and enough powdered sugar to make it smooth – around 1 lb.)

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