If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Commander’s Palace in the Garden District, you can almost follow your nose to the front door by the aroma of bread pudding which wafts across the neighborhood. I always picture a looney tunes character, closing their eyes, nose to the air, flapping their hands and floating along the scent trail to the source. I always think of that when I make this recipe and my kitchen smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Bread Pudding is a combination of two things that I hold dear, great cooking spawned from frugality, and comfort food. What is more comforting than a plate of warm bread pudding covered in spiked and sweet Whiskey sauce?
I based this recipe loosely on the Commander’s Palace recipe from one of my absolute favorite books Commander’s Kitchen by Jamie Shannon and Ti Adelaide Martin, by one of my absolute favorite restaurants. I will also be featuring the Commander’s style Bread Pudding Souffle in the next few days, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the best desserts around. Anywhere.
Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce Recipe
For the Bread Pudding:
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
6 Cups French Bread, cut inot 1 inch cubes (be sure it’s a light bread, meaning not too dense)
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Butter a square cake pan with the butter.
Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl.
In a large Mixing bowl whisk the eggs, add the sugar mixture, then whisk in the cream and vanilla extract. Fold in the bread cubes being sure to not break them up too much. The trick to this recipe is to make sure all of the bread soaks up the custard, and that you don’t overcook it.
Place the prepared mixture into the cake pan, cover with foil and place the cake pan into a larger pan, sufficient enough to allow for a water bath which will cover the smaller pan by half way.
Place the pans into the oven and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 300 degrees for 1 hour more or until the top of the pudding is golden brown.
The finished pudding should be slightly firm, while moist, but not runny.
Serve warm with Whiskey sauce, recipe below.
Makes 4 servings.
Whiskey Sauce Recipe
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water
a few drop of Vanilla extract
1/3 Cup Bourbon
1/3 Cup Sugar
Mix together the water and cornstarch. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. While boiling slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry, when the sauce is thickened remove from the heat and add the vanilla, bourbon and sugar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
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