Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

Although some people consider me a "baker," the irony is I don't even have much of a sweet tooth. Usually I bake to please others. However, I fell in love with Sweet Melissa's Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce. Literally. After my second bread pudding, I needed to learn how to make it myself. Lucky for me, Candy Girl shared the recipe (from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy) on her blog. Like Candy, I used Challah instead of brioche as my supermarket didn't have it either. The difference was insignificant so I have been using Challah ever since. The whole wheat is just a poor attempt at making it healthier. As for cutting the sugar, I often find many desserts too sweet, so I do this with everything I make. Click on the Read more link below for my version of the recipe.

On a side note, I made this yesterday for my friend, who has waited a year and half to eat it again. Happy birthday, Linda! Hope it was worth the wait :)

Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce 
1 stale brioche whole wheat Challah (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1 recipe raspberry sauce (see below)

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish.

1) Cut the brioche into 1-inch pieces. Lay them on a cookie sheet in an even layer and lightly toast them in the oven to dry, about 10 minutes.

2) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream with about half of the sugar, and heat to scalding, or until the cream is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges. Do not boil.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until smooth.

4) Temper the cream mixture into the egg yolks, pouring it little by little and whisking all the while. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Set aside and keep warm.

5) Place the toasted brioche in the prepared pan. Strain the custard over the bread and press down lightly with your hands so that all the bread is soaking. Let soak for 20 minutes.

6) Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with the sugar and the almonds.

7) Place the baking dish inside a roasting pan large enough to hold it. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until set. It will poof slightly when ready. Remove to a wire rack to cool to warm before serving.

8) Serve warm from the baking dish with the cold raspberry sauce. 

*The bread pudding keeps tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm before serving.

Raspberry Sauce 
Two 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, or 2/12 dry pints fresh
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1) In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice until it comes to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool briefly.

2) In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender, pulse the raspberry mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a resealable container and refrigerate for 2 hours.

*Raspberry sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Shake well before serving. 

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