Posts Tagged ‘bread pudding’


I’m intrigued by “retro” cooking, and I thought that for Christmas this year, I’d make a figgy pudding. This prompted me to ask myself (1) just what is a figgy pudding anyway and (2) will it please my culinarily unadventurous family?

It turns out that the answers to those questions are (1) figgy pudding is a sweet dessert made with suet and treacle, which is boiled in a cloth bag and hung up to age for several weeks before serving and (2) under no circumstances.

OK,  so no figgy pudding this year. In fact, no figgy pudding ever, thank you very much. But thinking along the lines of puddings, I remembered how much I like bread pudding. It’s one of those things that I go for pretty much whenever I see it on a menu, but that I’d never tried to make myself. So I reread Jonathan’s post about it and decided to give it a try myself. Considering what bread pudding really is (extra-sweet french toast in a pot, pretty much), I realized it couldn’t be that hard.

And it isn’t.



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Rich drunk man's French toast?

Rich, drunk man's French toast

Bread pudding is such a wholesome name; the pudding industry would do well to spread some cash around Madison Avenue and get this Plain Jane dessert a snappier handle. How about Rich Man’s French Toast? Tell me that doesn’t have moxie. Well folks, the fat-cats at Big Pudding may not be opening up their wallets anytime soon to support my rebranding efforts, but at least good people of New Orleans have already done their part by livening up the homely pudding building blocks of egg, milk, sugar and soggy bread with a much needed shot of whiskey. In Italian coffee drinking circles such an addition is known as a “correction,” a sentiment I could not agree with more.

Now since this is a Cajun recipe, let us take a moment up front to get the obligatory catchphrases out of the way: Laissez le bon temps roulez! Mon cher! Bam!

Are we done? Good. The canonical ‘Nawlins bread pudding with whiskey sauce comes from the city’s Bon Ton Cafe. Go looking for other recipes and you’ll find that while proportions differ the basic ingredients are always the same, and every last one of ‘em, from the Silver Palate Cookbook to gumbopages.com, credits the Bon Ton. Today the Junta’s chief contribution to this legacy is to suggest that you make it with challah. There are plenty of good reasons to use challah instead of French bread: it’s rich, it’s sweet, and it’s soft enough to be easily turned to a puddingy mush. But to be honest using challah is an idea this juntero came not by any conscious choice of his own but rather because, as Ben Franklin once said, “sake-bombing is the mother of invention.” (more…)

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