Tag Archives: Barefoot Contessa

Incredibly Delicious Bread Pudding

29 Nov

bread pudding with croissants

If you’re looking for a good dessert recipe for a holiday potluck, you’ve hit the jackpot.

This is an incredibly delicious bread pudding. I don’t make it often because it’s so rich; it’s in my recipe book as “Incredibly Rich Bread Pudding.” In fact, I think Thanksgiving weekend was the first time I made it because there would be a big crowd at the table and there wouldn’t be any leftovers.

I first experienced this dish at a potluck, where I ate much more of it than I should have. The recipe was originally from the a Barefoot Contessa cookbook by Ina Garten, where it is called Croissant Bread Pudding; I got the recipe from the guest who brought it, but every time I considered making it for a home meal, even with company, I’d look at the ingredients and say, “Nah, I just can’t do it!” because it’s that rich and fattening.

I tried making it with less calorific ingredients, like 2% milk instead of half & half, and regular bread instead of croissants, but it just wasn’t the same.

I’m giving you the recipe as I received it. I did make a couple of minor adjustments when I made it. I had large, not extra-large, eggs, so I used nine yolks instead of eight (but kept the original three whole eggs). I bought a quart of half & half, something I rarely use, so for the fifth cup I used lowfat milk.

I used an electric mixer to whiz the eggs, sugar, vanilla and half & half.

When you put the croissants in the pan (I used minis), you will probably have a few that don’t fit as halves. This is fine; break them up and stuff the pieces into bare spaces between the halves.

The recipe calls for a 10 x 15-inch pan. Mine was 9 x 13 and it worked fine. (I needed my larger baking pan for the water bath!)

It took closer to an hour to bake, possibly because I used a slightly smaller pan than the recipe called for.

This was a big hit at the Saturday-after-Thanksgiving dinner — and there wasn’t a crumb left over!

Ingredients:

3 extra large whole eggs
8 extra large egg yolks
5 cups half & half (you can use some milk if you don’t have that much cream)
1½  cups sugar
1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 large croissants or 12 minis (preferrably day old)
1 cup dark raisins or dried cherries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the eggs and yolks, sugar, half and half, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Set this custard mixture aside.

Slice croissants in half horizontally. In a 10 x 15-inch baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the croissants, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants.  Be sure the raisins are down inside, as they will burn if they surface while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow it to soak in. Press the croissants many times to insure that they soak up the mixture. Do this for 10 minutes.

Place the casserole into an even larger dish (or a disposable aluminum pan) that you will fill with a few inches of hot water to create a bath.

Place an aluminum foil sheet in a tent-like shape over the entire top of both pans; this allows the pudding to steam. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow some steam to escape.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set, not jiggly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 Serves 8-10 

 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

25 Feb

sour cream coffee cakeIt’s been awhile since I posted a dessert recipe, so this seemed a good time.

Who doesn’t love a sour cream coffee cake? I found this recipe online, but it’s originally from Barefoot Contessa Parties.

Ingredients:

1½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1½ tsp. vanilla
1¼ cups sour cream
2½ cups cake flour *
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt

Streusel:
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Glaze:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. maple syrup

*If you don’t have cake flour, you can either use all-purpose flour but use 5 Tbs. less, or you can take out 5 Tbs. of the all-purpose flour and replace it with 5 tbs. of cornstarch. Sift the two flours together before measuring.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Make the streusel: Place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a bowl and pinch it together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts if you use them.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make a glaze. Drizzle over the cake.

(If you want to make this in a bundt pan, you probably won’t want the streusel to be on the top, because then it would be on the bottom when you take the cake out of the pan. In this case, you can make three layers of cake batter, with two layers of the streusel in between them.)

Serves 12 to 16