Tag Archive | dessert

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding with a Tropical Flair


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
4 eggs
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
Blend thoroughly.

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!

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Recipes for an Old Fashioned Fourth of July


Independence Day celebrations definitely call for some old timey, stick to your ribs, comfort type party food.  It’s a day to kick back, relax and get the family and friends together to celebrate our freedom to feast on anything we damn well please! After all, what’s says "American" more than a Fourth of July  BBQ or picnic?  Combined with the requisite pyrotechnics, of course!

What’s Cooking America  has some mouth watering recipes for a good old fashioned 4th of July picnic, complete with barbequed baked beans , favorite potato salad, southern fried chicken  and sweet ice tea.

Let’s not forget the cocktails, though, because everyone knows mixing alcohol with explosives is an old tradition that goes way back! Check out these drink recipes  at the UV Vodka website. It’s American made, from Minnesota. With names like the "Cherry Bomb" and the "Blue Bombsicle" you’re sure to have a bang up time.

Of course, a perfect ending to a classic holiday would be this classic fruit trifle in red, white and blue. Guaranteed to be the grand finale of your patriotic pigout! Courtesy of HGTV

Trifle1 Red, White and Blue Fresh-Fruit Trifle


2-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 lbs. white chocolate pieces (the small round ones  work best for this recipe)
yellow cake mix (check box for required ingredients,  you will need three 8-inch cakes)
strawberries (quartered)

Preparation for ganache:

one cup (the rest will be needed later) heavy cream to a boil and pour
over the white-chocolate pieces. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap
and let it set for 10 to 15 minutes until the temperature has cooled.
(The chocolate should be completely melted.) Mix and blend well with a
wire whisk until all the pieces of chocolate are dissolved. Set aside
and let the mixture go to room temperature.

Whip 1-1/2 cups
heavy cream to 2/3 whipping peak and add the white chocolate mixture
(ganache) and blend. This mixture will become thick quickly. Set aside.

Assembling the trifle:

Bake the yellow cake according to
the directions provided on the box. Three eight-inch round yellow cakes
are needed. According to the size of your glass cake dish, make as many
layers possible.

Place the first layer of cake in the bottom of
the glass cake dish and add some of the ganache with some strawberries.
Add another layer of cake and more ganache with blueberries. Continue
adding as many layers as it takes to reach the top of the cake dish.
Smooth the ganache with a hot knife to make the top level.

off the dessert with quartered strawberries around the edge and filled
in with raspberries and blueberries. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.



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