Bread pudding is an old fashioned comfort food that originated centuries ago when frugal cooks looked for inventive ways to use up their stale bread instead of throwing it away. Almost every culture has its own version of this dessert, adding flavorings and spices that are indigenous to their particular region.
Though it is often thought of as a fall/winter cool weather type of dessert, it is actually quite popular in tropical climates as well. Years ago, when I used to cook on boats in the Caribbean, I always enjoyed incorporating regional dishes and ingredients into my menus.
The following is a bread pudding recipe with a tropical twist that I’ve served on many luxury yachts over the years and it never ceased to get rave reviews. It is my all time favorite dessert and I’m now going to share it with you. Guaranteed to send you into new heights of ectasy with every bite, it is so decadent that I now only make it for my Christmas dinner dessert. It’s not something I want around the house very often, as I’m sure a single serving is equal to 10 times the daily caloric intake recommended for a woman my age! So once a year I treat myself to this culinary indulgence.
Mango, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Rum Custard Sauce
5 cups day old French sourdough or Challah bread, crust removed and cut into 1" cubes
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp crushed anise seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
Whisk the above ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add the cubed stale bread. Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and add-
2 cups chopped mango
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Add the bread/custard mixture and bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes.
Tastes great served straight out of the oven, room temperature or chilled.
Top with chilled custard sauce. (recipe below)
If you’ve never made "creme anglaise" before, this can be a little tricky. Just make sure you keep stirring so the custard sauce doesn’t curdle while you’re trying to thicken it and don’t make the heat too high.
Rum Custard Sauce
2 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup dark rum
Whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Bring the heavy cream and vanilla to a simmer on medium heat. Whisk a few tablespoons of warm cream into the egg/sugar mixture. Then begin to add the egg mixture into the rest of the cream in the pan. Stir constantly and don’t let it come to a boil or it will curdle. When the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon it’s ready. Add the rum. Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh sieve. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Sauce will thicken even more when it chills.
This takes a little time to make, but it is definitely worth it. If there are any leftovers, it makes a great breakfast or brunch dish too!