Wednesday, October 30, 2013
chocolate chunk pumpkin bread pudding.
Remember the chocolate chunk pumpkin bread I made? This is what I was planning to do with the second loaf. Pudding-fy it! I'm sure you must be thinking that chocolate chunk pumpkin bread + bread pudding = more deliciousness but I'm sorry to say that I actually prefer the pumpkin bread on its own. But then again, it could be because I deviated a bit from the recipe instructions.
I had scaled down the recipe from the start - I made only half the quantity of pumpkin bread - so I made a third of the custard, factoring the amount of pumpkin bread I would have already consumed by then. I must have overestimated the custard I needed, which means that I ate more pumpkin bread than I should (whoops), because I didn't have enough reserved cubes of pumpkin bread to top the custard-pumpkin bread mixture. The consequence is that I don't get that crusty crunchy layer on top when the pudding is baked. I tried to create that texture with coarse brown sugar sprinkled over the top of the pudding before it went into the oven to bake but it just isn't the same.
The second mistake I made was to go ahead with the recipe even though I didn't have half-and-half on hand. All I had was low fat milk so I subbed that in. The pudding wasn't as rich as it should, and as I would have liked, but hey if you're looking for an excuse to eat more...
Ultimately, what I felt made the recipe less stellar than it may sound like is the use of spices which, in moderate amounts, can be extremely delightful but used too much and in an area too many, can be quite overwhelming. There were so many flavours going on in the pumpkin bread itself and to combine it with a custard that is also loaded with spices is a bit too much for me. That is not to say that this isn't a good bread pudding though! It's just not something that you can stomach a whole bowl of it in one sitting in my opinion.
While I was digging in I had a strong urge to look for some caramel sauce to go with the pudding. Sadly I don't have a ready supply of caramel sauce. That's a problem that I need to fix.
Oh and you should definitely chuck a handful of chocolate chips over while the pudding is still warm. Just saying.
Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding
chocolate chunk pumpkin bread, recipe here
For the custard:
2 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups half-and-half, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 stick + 1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325F. Cut the baked pumpkin bread into cubes - this will make about 7 cups of bread cubes. Toast the cubes for about 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and brown sugar until combined. Add in the half-and-half, pumpkin puree and 5 tbsp melted butter and whisk until combined. Add in the cinnamon, salt, cayenne, nutmeg and vanilla and whisk again. Fold in 6 cups of the toasted bread cubes, stir to combine, and allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter the bottom and side of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Toss the remaining 1 cup of toasted bread cubes with the remaining butter.
Pour the custard mixture into the prepared pan. Scatter the remaining bread cubes over the custard mixture and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the custard is set. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.