So, I haven’t posted in over a month. That’s not because I’m lazy or because I have given up on a food blog, but it’s because I’m off globe-trotting. This summer I’m working as a guide at Vimy Ridge in France. For those of you who don’t know, Vimy Ridge is a National Historic Site of Canada in France commemorating the Battle of Vimy Ridge and its importance in Canadian history. So, I am in France for the summer and in addition to working at a place as important as this, I have the opportunity to soak up the culture and food of France. (For more on my summer, check out The Travelling Tenor, which is my travel blog for the summer and will be updated far more often than this one for the next few months. Don’t worry, it’s more fun than work!) As one might imagine, I’m eating up the cheese, the bread and the wine, but I’m also taking time to cook for myself. Sometimes French dishes (and I will be trying to make more of those as the summer goes on) but other times just some comfort food from home that we all need. I’m living with six other Canadian university students (in addition to the other guides that live in the other house) and every once in a while we all need some good home-cooked food like our mother used to make. So I made a bread pudding today.
There was a two-fold reason for making a bread pudding. France is known for its bread, as a result I have been buying a lot of it, and sometimes it goes hard and is not fun to eat. Also, I just bought bread the other day which was bagged bread from the local grocery store and it wasn’t fit to eat. Even in Canada it wouldn’t have passed for bread. But I spent good money on it and I didn’t have the heart to throw it out. So bread pudding it was and here’s how I did it. (Sorry, no photos, I didn’t think to take them, but I assure you it was wonderful!)
1 pound stale bread, cut into cubes
1/2 chopped up chocolate
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup white or brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coarse sugar
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
Toss the bread and chocolate into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the bread and stir until the bread is coated. At first, the bread will float on the milk mixture, but after a few minutes it will begin to absorb it and sink.
Let rest for 15 minutes or so and then pour it into a 9-inch square lightly greased ovenproof casserole dish. Sprinkle coarse sugar overtop and bake until the eggs set, the pudding firms and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.
Notes about this recipe!
I adapted this some from a recipe I had. You could make this more of a typical bread pudding and use raisins or dried fruit, but I can’t think of anything more disgusting (except for bananas). So I chopped up some dark chocolate and put it in there. It was great.
Also, you can use any kind of bread you wish, mine was mostly plain white loaf, but I put some baguette in there too. It would be great with brioche, challah or some other kind of bread or all those types of breads mixed together. To be quite honest, I use bread pudding as a way of consuming stale bread, so I just throw whatever I have in there.
You can substitute out the sugar and use honey or maple syrup or something like that to sweeten it. Just watch out that you don’t make the mixture too sweet.
I serve it with a drizzle of heavy cream on top and a dusting of icing sugar. My summertime roommates loved it and it will be gone by the end of the night.