Tuesday, April 21, 2009

{TWD} Four Star Bread Pudding

I come by my love of desserts, as they say, "honestly." The sweet tooth gene was passed directly to me from my mother, who in turn received it from her mother. Luckily a few of my grandmother's dessert recipes have also passed down to me. One of her specialties was a chocolate bread pudding - the recipe was originally from the 1937 Better Homes and Gardens! I have distinct memories of this dessert, although my mother prepared it far less frequently that her nearly-daily apple pie.

Although the ingredients and methods of Dorie's recipe differ significantly from my grandmother's, I was excited to try this week's Chocolate Bread Pudding., chosen by Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle. You can find Dorie's recipe on Lauren's site (or on page 410 of Dorie's book); for my grandmother's recipe, just scroll down to the end of this post.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- My freezer contained half a kugelhopf that I made in February. It had turned out a little dry (but with great flavor) so I figured it would be the perfect base for this bread pudding.

- With my husband out of town, I made 1/4 recipe. The P&Q contained many reports of extra custard, so I used 1/3 recipe's worth of bread cubes (4 oz rather than 3 oz).

- I "staled" my already dry bread in the oven.

- Because the kugelhopf contained some currants and golden raisins (and the occasional sliced almond) I didn't add any dried fruit to the pudding.

bread cubes all "staled" and ready to use
-The recipe was very easy to cut, aside from the egg quantity. A 1/4 recipe means 1 yolk and 3/4 of a whole egg. This is actually not too difficult to do with a digital scale. But (and if you're a regular reader, please feel free to gasp at this next bit of information) I didn't calculate. I didn't weigh. I didn't measure. I just winged it. I had a lot of egg wash left over from my Sweet Melissa apple turnovers - I'm guessing there was about half an egg and maybe a tablespoon of cream in a little container in my fridge. I've orphaned so many partial eggs in recent baking forays (7 egg whites last week alone, which I will freeze and/or use soon) and I didn't want to toss this egg wash. So I scraped it into a bowl. Then I broke yet another egg and added the yolk and some of the white.

- I reduced the cream a bit because there was cream in the egg wash. For milk I used Smart Balance nonfat lactose-free. It claims to taste as rich as whole milk so this seemed like a great use for it.

- Since I only needed 1/8 cup of sugar, I decided to use some of the fancy stuff in my stash of baking ingredients, and chose Golden Baker's sugar.

- I used Scharffen Berger 72% bittersweet chocolate. The best thing about 1/4 recipe is that chopping 1.5 oz of chocolate is no big deal!

- The pudding baked in a water bath for 25 minutes. I forgot the double layer of paper towels, but it didn't seem to be a problem.


To accompany the pudding I made some brandied whipped cream - with a whisk and a bowl and some elbow grease. Because I was making such a small amount I didn't think my mixer would whip it. It was surprisingly easy.

the verdict:

Dorie recommends this be eaten room temperature or chilled. I tried it warm, room temp, and cold. I liked it best when it was still medium-warm - with the brandied whipped cream. A little bit of the vanilla/orange/cinnamon/nutmeg flavors of my underlying bread came through in the taste of the pudding. So good! I still have a good bit of the kugelhopf in the freezer and I think It'd make a fabulous regular bread pudding, or even a version with a berry sauce stirred into the custard.

The chocolate flavor seemed stronger when the bread pudding was cold. It put me in the mood to try my grandmother's recipe!


my grandmother's (and mother's) recipe:

Chocolate Crumb Pudding
Better Homes and Gardens, October 1937

In double-boiler heat 1 oz sweet chocolate, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk; add slowly 4 beaten egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar. Cook until thickened. Add 2 cups soft bread crumbs, 1 cup shredded blanched almonds, fold in 4 stiff beaten egg whites. Cover and steam in double boiler 25 minutes. Serve hot or cold with cream or custard sauce.
Serves 8

54 comments:

Cristine said...

Good idea to use leftover Kugelhopf! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Megan said...

Oh yeah, I am totally copying that recipe - because I am a total bread pudding lover.

Steph said...

I love using up leftovers. Once I tried making something with leftover frosting, but that obviously didn't turn out well since I didn't know how much butter I had exactly. I wish you could donate your egg whites to me..haha. I'm dying to make a white cake, but I don't want a bunch of yolks!

I'm glad you liked this. It wasn't exactly my kind of dessert.

mike said...

Ok, I must be a frump, because I own a copy of BH&G "My Cookbook" from 1936. Life was SO much simpler back then. :) LOVE your addition of cream - it's the perfect topping to a down home dessert! Now if I can just find some brioche.....

Mary Ann said...

I loved, loved this one! I am really interested in your g-ma's recipe as well. My g-ma used to make it all the time and I thought this recipe was wonderful.
I had a problem with dividing the egg in my custard and I thought of you. For some reason, I just thought you probably were doing math too. I winged and used more egg than I was supposed and it worked great!
It looks so good.

Marthe said...

Sounds like you really liked this one!

Jin Hooi said...

well done, your bread pudding looks great !! And great idae of using kugelhopf!!

Amanda said...

Grat idea using the Kugelhopf (wonder how many peoplehad to look to see how to spell that like I did LOL). I am a fan on vanilla custard bread pudding, but I really liked this one too. It was even better drizzled with chocolate sauce or cream anglaise!

Audrey said...

Using leftovers is Proper Bread Pudding Procedure, unlike baking bread just to let it go stale! :) And I'm sure the nuances of flavor from your kugelhopf were lovely in this...I'm intrigued by your family recipe, too. Your pudding looks wonderful!

I don't want to mess with your spontaneity, since it works so well for you! But I did read (in Regan Daley's book, which has about 200 pages of ingredient info!) that the white of a large egg measures about 2 tablespoon, and the yolk measures about 1 tablespoon. This seems to hold up...in case it helps sometime!

Lauren said...

I'm glad you baked along with me. I'm hooked, and will try your grandmother's bread pudding next time.
Thanks.

What's for Supper? said...

I should really try your grandmother's recipe as well. Dorie's was so good. Thanks for sharing!

Lady Baker said...

Hearing about your grandmother's cookbook made me want to share how I have a very old hard-cover Good Housekeeping cookbook from the same era that was my great-aunts...I cherish that my grandmother gave it to me (Aunt Margaret was the dessert baker of our familiy in her day). I LOVE going through it to find old recipes and stand-bys that she loved..her writings in the margins, the stains from old recipes left behind. I also like seeing how the old-school recipes stand up to these days...Those lazy crazy hazy days of "lard"....

Sara said...

This sounds amazing! I often use leftover bread to make bread pudding, I'm sure it was especially delicious with the kugelhopf.

Eliana said...

having bread pudding warm is the way to go. It adds so much depth to the flavor.

Jessica said...

My sweet tooth comes from my dad's side but I love the idea that it's an "honest" sweet tooth. I have to steal that from you.
I think that using the left over Kugelhopf is inspired; and, wow! no calculations?
Thanks for sharing your grandmother's bread pudding recipe. I love bread pudding and I usually have some leftover bread to use up so I will definitely try it at some point.

Clivia said...

I agree that warm tasted best. What a great way to use leftovers. Glad you enjoyed it!

Cathy said...

Nancy! So tell us, how crazy did you feel just winging it that way? I hope the answer is "oh, very." I've completely blocked out whatever I did to half three egg yolks. I love how your pudding looks more pudding-y than mine. Mine really set up like a brownie. It was kind of a finger food, come to think of it. Your first picture is gorgeous - I thought it was impossible to make this dessert look attractive, but you did it! I am so glad that you enjoyed this, especially considering that you have a really special chocolate bread pudding recipe to compare it to.

Peggy said...

I liked it best at room temperature and no you did NOT eat all of it at one sitting!!! That was the lie right? And of course, I did not lose 150 lbs. I love that you used the Kugelhopf. I have a great recipe that I use Panettone in, probably a similar taste to yours. Have a great week!!

AmyRuth said...

Great idea to use the flavors from the kugel. I'll bet that really made it tastey. I imagine you make a killer apple pie as well, with a "daily" pie action going on around in your childhood.
AmyRuth

myfamousrecipe said...

Those subtle flavors from the kugelhopf must have been wonderful. It's always so satisfying to find the perfect use for leftovers taking up valuable real estate in the freezer. Great job!

Jules Someone said...

Oh! The use of the kugelhopf sounds so good! I was a little shocked that you didn't measure to the gram, but I got over it. ;-)

Michelle said...

I like that square bowl!! I'm liking anything not round now a days!

Great job!

dharmagirl said...

bread pudding is perfect for using odds and ends! that makes it both practical and tasty, and a pleasantly different and low key dessert...although i just ate some of mine for breakfast. yumm.

farah said...

Your pudding sounds wonderful, using leftover kugelhopf! Thank you for your grandmother's recipe, i shall be trying it very soon ")

Sara said...

Super idea to use the kugelhopf! I bet it was perfect.

Chris said...

Love the addition of the brandied whipped cream - I agree it needed something to finish it off.

Sweet Charity said...

I can just imagine the combined flavors of your kugelhopf and the chocolate... mmmmmm!!!
It's interesting to see how different the two recipes are- of the two, which do you prefer??

pinkstripes said...

Brandied whipped cream sounds delicious. Your bread pudding looks wonderful. I'm glad you liked it.

chocolatechic said...

Brilliant for using the kugelhopf.

I used donuts.

Erin said...

Great use of the kugelhopf! This is my first visit to your blog -- my dog helps,too : )

bakingwiththeboys said...

Feeling rebellious, eh? Welcome to my world of winging it. I halved the recipe and just skipped on the egg or egg yolk that would have to be divided. this was divine. I may never be able to make a full recipe...

Kayte said...

Oh, how inspired was this to use that Kugelhopf for the bread? Wow...I loved that kugelhopf recipe. You lost me over the chocolate, of course, but I do have to say, yours looks really tasty and delicious. You have a knack that way.

leanne said...

Daily apple pie? Oh my goodness. How wonderful. Your bread pudding looks delicious.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm still entranced by the caramel apple turnovers...

Katrina said...

Awesome using leftover Kugelhopf! Mine had some of the same flavors, orange flavored chocolate and cranberries and almonds. I liked it! I cut a lot of the fat and it was still good and probably still not the "lightest" treat.
Looks great, Nancy.

Natashya said...

Looks great! I am loving the sound of that brandied whipped cream!

Karen said...

nice use of the Kugelhopf! :) Glad this turned out good!

Pam said...

I love bread puddings. I keep diced bread in my freeze always available for them.

Engineer Baker said...

Kugelhopf sounds wonderful, as does the brandied whipped cream. Nice changes, it looks and sounds delicious!

Carol Peterman said...

The kugelhopf was a great idea and just what bread pudding is all about - leftovers! The brandy whipped cream sounds like a perfect topping too. Your grandmother's recipe looks really interesting and I bet it is a completely different bread pudding experience.

Jill said...

The kugelhopf is such a great idea for this recipe. Your grandma's recipe sounds really easy. I was looking at my mom's (non-chocolate) bread pudding recipe and it has beaten egg whites too. I do like bread pudding - I just need to find my favorite recipe.

Sweet as Coco said...

oh the kugelhopt I bet was a great substitute!!! I guess we were thinking alike by using some leftovers from our freezers. Glad you enjoyed yours!!

Reeni♥ said...

How delicious! You are so good at 'winging it' and getting good results. I love old recipes! I'm glad you included it.

Di said...

I love my scale, too, but sometimes you do just have to wing it. =) Your pudding looks great--I like the idea of using kugelhopf for this. It's funny that you mentioned whipping the cream by hand. I just did that this evening. I wanted a little whipped cream for hot chocolate, and it's definitely not worth even dragging out the hand mixer for such a small quantity.

margot said...

Nice re-use of the egg wash, I had a lot left too and it went down the drain. Kugelhopf was one of my first TWDs, and you reminded me how good it is. I'm glad you enjoyed this version of one of your childhood classics.

Tracey said...

I really loved this recipe but now I kind of want to try your grandmother's recipe too :) This was my first attempt at bread pudding so I need to try another one so I have a basis for comparison!

Amanda said...

You actually winged the measuring the egg!!! Laughed at that one. (I am a regular reader and thought you were for sure headed down the digital path.) Your bread choice was good, and I prefered mine semi-warm too. (not cold and not hot for sure) Enjoyed your descriptions.

Elyse said...

So glad you enjoyed the bread pudding! You really have me wanting to try your grandma's recipe, though! It sounds absolutely divine, and I just love hand-me-down recipes. Great post!! What a fabulous use for leftover kugelhopf.

Piggy said...

great idea to pair the bread pudding with brandied whipped cream, yum!

Leslie said...

This looks amazing, as usual, Nancy. I did gasp a little that you didn't weigh and calculate! But I didn't either as I sensed this custard was pretty forgiving.

I usually make Ina Garten's meringues chantilly with berries when I have leftover egg whites, except I top them with fat free yogurt instead of the whipped cream, so they feel indulgent but really aren't too unhealthy. I need to take up an extreme sport to compensate for the extreme calories I'm getting from all this baking!

Pamela said...

Beautiful job, Nancy! Looks fabulous. And you were incredibly resourceful, using all of your left overs like that!!

Pearl said...

ooh thank you for sharing this recipe and your thoughts on it! i found your blog through another's and was immediately captivated by all the photos of treats! :)

Cindystar said...

Hi!
Happy Baking Easter round up is on line!
http://cindystarblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/happy-baking-easter-round-up-raccolta.html
Cheers!

TeaLady said...

So, Nancy, which one is better. Dorie's or your family's. Yours looks delicious with the kugelhopf. I did end up making this - late - but didn't really care for it. Ah, well! I will definitely make the torte next week since you said it was so good.