Over the summer, Luke and I discovered Australian Master Chef on Youtube and went on a 70 something episode binge over the course of two weeks. What I learned from that show (beyond the fact that the Australian people are endlessly polite and cheerful) is that America is missing out on a whole category of food- pudding! I’m not talking about those crappy pudding cups that your mom used to put in your lunch. I mean a proper British pudding; which is actually a broad term that refers to a dish that may be sweet or savory, and is generally starch or dairy based. Australia shares a lot of British food influences, which is why Australian reality cooking shows feature so many awesome recipes, including a wide array of puddings and meat pies. In the U.S. you occasionally see bread pudding on a restaurant’s dessert menu, usually in places with a Southern influence.
Bread pudding can also be served as a classic holiday brunch item. For Christmas this year, I had a whimsical vision of Luke and I opening presents around our tree, while eggnog flavored bread pudding baked in the oven. I could almost smell the sweet aroma mixing with the scent of pine; our dogs would wear Santa hats, and Luke and I would wear matching flannel pajamas while we exchanged gifts to Bing Crosby. Maybe we would even talk in British or Australian accents and call each other ‘mate.’
If you know my family, Luke would never wear flannel, and my dogs would never tolerate holiday themed apparel.
(As is evidenced by this Halloween costume FAIL from 2013).
But the one thing I could make happen in my ultimate Christmas fantasy is a custardy delicious pudding, served with warmed maple syrup. THAT I have control over. So after some internet perusing, I found this recipe from Tasty Kitchen and got to work.
My last post shared my recipe for homemade Challah, which I used as the base for my pudding. But please don’t think that it is necessary to bake your own bread. It just depends on what you would rather do with your time- throw the next day’s breakfast together in ten minutes and hang out with your family, or stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve waiting for your bread dough to rise, and then bake, and then cool. It’s your choice. Buying a loaf of Challah, or even a good loaf of French bread will work just fine if you want to take it easy and get some sleep.
For ingredients you will need:
1 loaf of Challah or French Bread 4 large eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter 4 egg yolks
3 1/2 cups Eggnog 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or bourbon if you like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ready for the fastest recipe I have ever posted? Here we go.
Grease a 9×13 baking pan. Tear up your bread loaf into pieces- about an inch wide- and pile everything into the pan. The entire pan should be filled with bread.
In a big bowl, beat all of the remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour the mixture over the bread, and press all of the pieces down to make sure everything is submerged. Cover the whole thing, and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
Now for the most important part: if you are a Late Night Baker (LNB) and there is someone in your household who is an Early Morning Riser (EMR) and eats breakfast every day between the hours of 4:30-5:30 am, place a DO NOT EAT sign on your bread pudding.
Once you wake up, it will save you from having to participate in the following exchange:
8:30 am Christmas Morning-
EMR: I really liked that bread pudding you made.
EMR: The bread pudding. It was really good.
LNB: But I haven’t cooked it yet.
EMR: It wasn’t supposed to be soupy like that?
LNB: Well, no, it is supposed to be baked. It has 9 raw eggs in it.
EMR: Oh…well I liked it. Athletes eat raw eggs all of the time.
When you wake up and are ready to eat, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes. If it is Christmas morning, by the time you are finished opening presents, breakfast will be done.
As you can see, it will turn out, even if someone eats a big chunk of it prior to baking. But I really recommend cooking it first.
It serves a lot of people, so make it for a large gathering, or just enjoy indulging in some eggnoggy goodness for the rest of your weekend. Enjoy!