Which is prettier? The bread pudding, the combo of crème fraiche with whipped cream, that wedge of praline, or the very vibrant ramekin? You’ll recognize the ramekin, of course, by its burgundy color. It’s from Emile Henry, the French company that produces brilliant kitchen products: ovenware, cookware, bakeware, tableware, and kitchenware.
Each Emile Henry piece is stamped with the “EH” logo. No, my photo here does not capture that logo. I was, well, hungry. I wanted to seize my ramekin of bread pudding, grab a spoon, and dig in. I took a quick photo and went for dessert.
If you have never been a fan of bread pudding, take a second thought. Rich, eggy challah bread is soaked in heavy cream, milk and sugar. A healthy tablespoon of vanilla adds a bounty of flavor. And the topping of brown sugar and walnuts plus cinnamon is simply frosting on the cake. Or on the pudding!
Feel free to swap out the walnuts for pecans or your own personal favorite.
You can serve the bread pudding as you bake it here, or supply topping. Here we added a slab of praline. And a combination of crème fraiche and heavy cream is beaten, sugar is added, and then the topping is piped on top of the pudding. The contrast of cool topping and piping hot pudding is certain to capture your attention. And generate a smile.
This dessert is so easy to prepare you’ll soon consider it a family favorite.
Praline Bread Pudding
Yield: serves 8-12 depending on ramekin size
For the pudding:
- 1-pound loaf challah cut in 1-inch cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the topping:
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
Beat the eggs on high until light yellow and slightly thickened. Heat the heavy cream and milk, then add sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and beat until combined. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and let stand, stirring occasionally, until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid.
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the topping using a fork or pastry cutter.
When ready to bake, place the bread mixture in the prepared dish. Distribute the topping over the bread.
Bake until puffed and golden-about 40 minutes.
Source: Chef Donna Boland, Cooking by the Book
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/60th second at ISO‑400