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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two

Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two |
I would have brought the entirety of Eataly home with from NYC if I could have fit in on the plane. That includes the baristas. It's funny how you can become so accustomed to something in such a short period of time. I would happily start every day with a Doppio Macchiato and a croissant.

Doppio Macchiato from Eataly in NYC |
But, since bringing Eataly home wasn't an option, I settled for an Eataly canvas bag with two loaves of gorgeous, freshly baked loaves of bread tucked inside. One loaf was Prosciutto and Provolone, the other Rustic Raisin. And yes, it made me unreasonably happy to cut thick slices from the loaf, sending a spray of crust onto the counter.

The thing is, each time I cut into that loaf of raisin bread, the urge to make bread pudding hit me. And I don't really crave bread pudding often. Okay, I don't think I've ever gotten the craving for it before. But that rustic loaf just wanted to be transformed.

So, from that last little bit of information, you could probably guess correctly that we don't really eat bread pudding very often in our house. The kids don't like it. I like it, but rarely make it. My husband claimed that he didn't even remember trying bread pudding before. What!?

So with the kids out of the mix, plus the knowledge that I would probably only eat one big serving, and the question of the hubby eating more than one serving, I decided that dessert for two was the way to go. I was not about to take the chance of wasting a half a pan of it.

Turns out, this was the perfect amount. And it was stellar, if I do say so myself. That raisin bread knew what it was talking about when it begged to be turned into bread pudding. It was lightly scented with orange, studded with pecans and the raisins from the bread, and then covered in a lick-the-spoon orange-scented hard sauce made with Licor 43. In other words, it was perfection.

Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two
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Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two |
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+ 2-4 hours unattended)
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian alcohol bread oranges Valentines Day pudding American

Ingredients (serves 2)
    for the bread pudding:
    • 6 fluid ounces whole milk
    • 2 fluid ounces heavy cream
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • finely grated zest of an orange
    • splash of pure vanilla extract
    • big pinch of sea salt
    • 4 ounces Rustic Raisin Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
    for the hard sauce:
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 ounces unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons Licor 43
    • finely grated zest of an orange
    • small piece of a cinnamon stick
    • big pinch of sea salt
    to make the bread pudding:
    Whisk together all of the ingredients except the bread and pecans, until well-combined and creamy. Toss in the bread and pecans and stir until the bread is soaked.

    Smear a little bit of softened butter on the inside bottom and sides of two 8-ounce ramekins. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the two ramekins. There should be a small amount of head room left at the top (1/2-inch or so). If you have a little too much liquid, just discard it (it would be a tiny amount). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
    Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two |
    Take them out of the fridge, remove plastic wrap, and set on a baking tray. Let sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350° F, ~20 minutes.

    Slide the tray into the oven and bake until set and puffed up, 30-35 minutes. They will fall after they've come out of the oven, but they're pretty impressive when you first take them out.

    hard sauce - make this while the bread pudding is in the oven:
    Place the brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has melted and the mixture is smooth.

    Bring mixture to a simmer, then stir in the Licor 43, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and sea salt. Continue to simmer gently to thicken, ~3 minutes. Let sit off the heat until the bread pudding comes out of the oven. Pick out the piece of cinnamon stick before serving.

    Once the bread pudding is out of the oven, you can serve it in the ramekins, or carefully turn it out onto two plates. Drizzle liberally with hard sauce and enjoy warm.
    Orange-scented Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce for Two |