Today I was asked for the basic bread pudding recipe I make, so I figured it best if I simply shared the recipe with everyone. As I’ve said before, I make a lot of bread pudding in the cafe and I have several variations to keep the customers excited, but this recipe is for simple, straightforward New Orleans bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce. Feel free to experiment with ingredients. Sometimes I leave out the raisins and instead use dried cranberries and sliced almonds. Sometimes I use blueberries and some orange marmalade. I’ve been known to make banana pecan and at times, coffee-chocolate, but the basic recipe remains the same.
- 1 loaf French bread or 12 large croissants, cubed
- 1 quart half & half
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup of raisins
- 3 tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs with the half & half. Add the bread and fold to combine ingredients, then add the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. Mix well. Coat a 9″x13″ glass baking dish with PAM. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the dish and drizzle the top with the melted butter. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the center is set but still moist. If bread starts to get too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Whiskey Cream Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1/4 cup quality bourbon (or rum)
Mix the butter and sugar in a double-boiler until very hot and sugar is well dissolved. In your left hand (or right if you’re left handed), slowly pour the egg and cream into the butter/sugar mixture while whisking very fast with your opposite hand. This is essentially a quicker way to “temper” the eggs so they don’t curdle. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Mixture will slightly thicken as it cools. Just before serving, whisk in the bourbon (or rum).
To serve, plate up the bread pudding and drizzle with the whiskey sauce.