Bread Pudding ( with Caramel sauce and Praline )

Being a Nutritionist am supposed to take the whole wheat bread all the time ,  but while we are in the Que in the grocery store to bill the stuffs , Soccer man starts to lecture about difference between white and whole wheat bread and bla bla and finally end up bringing home “white bread” though both of us know very well that bleached all purpose flour will no way help us go healthy.

Bread pudding is familiar to all but there are many ways to prepare the same ,  have read in many blogs that the bread pieces are first cubed and arranged on a pan then the liquid ingredients are mixed and poured over the bread , but I prefer to have bread nicely soaked so that there isn’t any bread chunks in the pudding.This is how we used to make at home so going with the same traditional way…prepared a caramel as we do for the caramel pudding and also some praline cashew nuts , love that crunch in between when the pudding melts in the mouth.

Just simple Bread pudding without the caramel and the praline taste good.
 But have given the recipe to make the praline and caramel as well , as I think these are good combinations and makes the pudding more attractive.

Bread Pudding 


Ingredients

For soaking 

Bread – 5 pieces cut in to cubes
Milk – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 1/4 cup.

Other Ingredients 

Milk – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer more sweet)
Eggs – 2 no’s
Vanilla essence – 1 and 1/2 table spoon

Method

*Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
* Soak the cubed bread pieces with the ingredients under soaking ( 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup sugar) for 10 minutes.

*Beat the eggs with sugar and mix/beat well to combine (till the egg color changes to pale yellow) , then add the milk and vanilla essence to it and stir.

Lot of essence in there but later you’ll be glad you added more 🙂 
* Add the soaked bread ingredients to the egg and milk mixture (combine all ingredients), keep aside.

For the Caramel 

If you are making caramel , do start by heating little sugar (less than a quarter cup)  in low heat , till the sugar is all melted pour this melted sugar on the baking dish.
Don’t panic as its going to stick to the bottom and become crystallized once poured to the pan.
* If possible swirl the pan so that the caramel quotes all over the bottom .Pour the bread mixture over the caramel.
* If you are baking the dish , place this baking pan on to an oven proof roasting pan and filled with hot water , to reach half way up the baking pan, as shown below.
Tried my best to picture the water in roasting pan 😦 not very happy with my photography skills..
* Bake for an 1 hour & 15 minutes in 350 degree F , check by inserting a fork , it should come out clean.Can serve hot or refrigerate it once it reaches room temperature.
Making  Praline Nuts (Optional) 

I used 1/4 cashew nuts , use what ever you have , Peanuts/ Pecans/hazelnuts/Almonds/Pistachio’s etc.
Sugar – 1/4 cup
Heat the sugar till it melts and becomes brown , do not stir or add water , heat these in low.
When the sugar is all melted , add the nuts to it , stir and switch off the heat.
Pour this mixture to a parchment paper/ Aluminium foil , Butter the paper/foil before you pour the caramelized nuts on to it , so that it comes out easy.
* Wait for a few minutes till the ingredients cools down a bit then it look like this one below.
*Crush these with a heavy spatula. and store these in an air tight container. Sprinkle a little of these on the bread pudding before serving.Can use these for any pudding , custard or with Ice cream. Love its crunch.
Enjoy Bread pudding with caramel and praline nuts 🙂
Notes
         : If thinking of steaming this dish instead of baking , just place the pan to the steamer where you usually place the idli (if you are using an idli steamer) and steam uncovered for an hour and half till a fork when inserted to the pudding comes out clean.Disadvantage is that the pan you use would be probably deep with lesser circumference , so it may take longer time to set. 
          : While making the sugar syrup , can add a little water to make it watery but both gives almost the same results as the crystallized sugar anyway melts when baked or steamed later and becomes a sauce underneath.
          : Care should be taken while making the sugar syrup , as it will be very hot , and it melts pretty soon  , do not stir till all the sugar melts and also do not leave the place till you switch off the heat as the sugar may get over heated and create smoke.Its better to melt the sugar keeping it always in low heat. 
          : If you find it hard to clean  the utensils used for making caramel , heat little  water in that utensil, the sugar slowly melts then its easy to clean the dish.
Cheers
TN
   

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