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    « Mayhem is Almost Over! Bread Pudding Part II | Main | Voodoo Jambalaya - Ready for more Mayhem? »
    Friday
    May202011

    Moving Mayhem - Bread Pudding Edition

    Well, it’s really happening.  The move is finally here.  But before we go, I need to use up some of my special ingredients.  I just can’t bring myself to throw something like vanilla beans in the trash.  After much thought, I decided bread pudding would be a great means of emptying my cupboards. 

    Here's what you'll need:

    4 large croissants
    2 eggs
    2 cups half and half
    1 ½ cups vanilla sugar
    1 vanilla bean
    1 teaspoons cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 Tablespoon brown rice syrup
    ½ teaspoon salt

    Although I highly recommend having these ingredients on hand, I understand that you may not have all of them.  If you don’t have vanilla sugar, you can certainly make it for next time.  Just save the used vanilla bean, let it dry, and put it in a container with some sugar.  If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you’ll just have to go buy one… or I guess you could make a different flavor of bread pudding.

    Ok, let’s get this show on the road.  First thing you need to do is butter the bottom and sides of a square pan.  8 or 9 inch will work just fine. 

    Next, preheat the oven to 350°.  Then, tear your croissants into smallish pieces.

    When you’ve done them all, it should look something like this:

    Next comes the custard.  Crack two eggs into a mixing bowl or you can use a 4 cup measuring cup like me. 

    Beat the eggs slightly, add the half and half, sugar, salt and vanilla extract, and whisk until you have little bubbles on top.  Then add the syrup. 

    More whisking, then finally, the fun part… the vanilla bean.  With a sharp knife, slice it lengthwise down the middle. 

    With the back side of your knife (not the sharp part) open one half of the pod and scrape out the seeds. 

    Set the other half aside for now.  Plop the vanilla seeds into your egg mixture. 

    Whisk whisk whisk!  You’ll see the seeds mostly separate.  Little clumps will probably remain, but don’t fret. 

    Now for the spices.  First comes the nutmeg.  Freshly grated only please. 

    Seriously, don’t use the pregrated stuff in a bottle.  You can get a nutmeg grater rather inexpensively, and then you’ll always have good nutmeg on hand.  The stuff in the bottle loses its flavor so quickly, but the whole nuts are good for just about ever. 

    Last but not least is the cinnamon.  This is another thing that loses its flavor quickly, but the good stuff you can’t grind yourself, so just buy it frequently.  If you can find it in bulk, it’s a good way to get it.  Whisk one last time, getting everything incorporated and pour it over your croissant pieces. 

    Press down so that every piece gets a chance to absorb all of that vanilla goodness. 

    Into the oven it goes for 35 – 40 minutes.  When I finally looked up from what I was doing, I was met by this precious site. 

    We’ve finally left the snow behind (I think) and Otto isn’t taking one moment of sunshine for granted.  So, I’m probably biased, but I could just look at that cutie pie all day.  Ok, back to bread pudding.  When it’s done, it should be nice and golden brown on top and a knife inserted into the center should come out clean.

    Allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.  You can even cool it completely, refrigerate it, and serve it cold.  Either way is fabulous.  While it’s cooling, let’s start on the vanilla bean whipped cream.  Pour 1 tablespoon of sugar onto a plate.  With the back of your knife, scrape the seeds from the remaining vanilla bean half and add it to the sugar.

    With a fork, smoosh them together.  (yes, smoosh is a technical term)     

    In a glass measuring cup, measure one cup of heavy cream and add the vanilla/sugar mixture. 

    Whip until you get stiff peaks.  (Is it only romance writers whose minds go instantly into the gutter with a phrase like that?) 

    Look at all those little vanilla seeds in there.  Isn’t it pretty?  Now, cut your bread pudding into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and some chopped nuts.  I had pistachios I needed to use up. 

    Take a bite and be swept away to vanilla heaven.  Nothing beats the flavor of real vanilla beans. 

    So, if you were moving, and had to give up everything in your kitchen, which of your ingredients would you be sure to use up? 

    Reader Comments (5)

    My eyes went out of focus imagining this.

    May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Green

    lol, "stiff peaks" Otto is so cute! And he looks very peaceful. :)

    May 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjodi

    @Amber - Wait 'til you actually try it!

    @Jodi - Ten bucks you could find the phrase 'stiff peaks' in a published novel. LOL
    Oh, and for the record, two days after I took that picture of Otto, it snowed.

    May 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTaneasha

    Dude, that whipped cream looks freaking fabulous.

    Using up everything... I tend to have lots of veggies around so I'd probably actually make either a quiche or a fritatta to use up all the eggs as well. Or, I could just make a savoury bread pudding... hm...

    ;)

    May 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSeeley deBorn

    I'll bet this would be also awesome with challah as the bread, though it would likely be more dense. Now i may have to try it.

    March 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterElise Logan

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