Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What's cooking Wednesday

I made trifle for dessert on Christmas Day. It was awesome but I was left with some scrap pieces of pound cake. Since I had already started to think about reusing things more effectively I put the pieces of cake in the freezer. John pulled them out yesterday and we collaboratively came up with the idea of a Karen and John Pound Cake Pudding, essentially a bread pudding without the bread. Tonight I pulled it all together and it RULED. Here is the recipe:

Pound Cake Pudding
  • 3 cups broken up pieces of pound cake (if you don't have that laying around you can use old bread but I think this was WAY better than bread pudding made with bread. Much less mushy but still soft with custard. Heaven!)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp (or so) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (or so) cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 500 ml half and half or light cream
  • about a 1/2 cup dried cranberries
For topping: (I didn't make this but I'm sure it would be good. Instead, I used a caramel sauce made by Emily's teacher that I got as a thank you gift. Delicious!)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces (toasted and chopped) - I didn't use this either. Instead I toasted some pistachios I had left from Christmas baking. It was a great combination.
In large bowl, stir together white sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Measure and set aside 1 tbsp of half and half. Add all but that one tbsp of half and half to the egg mixture and whisk. Stir in cake cubes and cranberries. Let stand 15 minutes.

The recipe that I used to guide me through the custard mixture for this soaks some raisins in bourbon. I elected to leave out the alcohol tonight and replaced the raisins with cranberries. It was a great substitution. Next time however, I might soak them in Grand Marnier which John and I agreed would be great with the cranberries. If you choose to go the raisin/bourbon route, just soak them in 2 tbsp bourbon for about 15 minutes and then add in to the mixture when you soak the cake/bread.

Preheat oven to 325 (300 convection). Pour bread mixture into a greased loaf pan (recipe said an 8x8 cake pan but I chose the loaf pan and it worked great for slicing and serving). Bake 45 to 50 minutes (43 minutes convection) until knife inserted near centre comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes.

So to make the sauce above that I didn't make, the recipe says: In 1-quart saucepan, heat reserved 1 tbsp half and half, brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in pecans. Serve pudding drizzled with praline sauce.

As I mentioned above I used Mrs. B's caramel sauce. First, I whipped some whipping cream. I put a thick slice of pudding in each bowl, put a good sized dollop of cream on each piece, sprinkled on the toasted pistachios and then put a spoonful of caramel sauce on top.

I don't think I have to tell you how good this was.

I love anything with custard in it. The pound cake was creamy with the custard but not too mushy. The cranberries offset the sweetness of the pudding and caramel really well and I loved the crunch of the pistachios. This was such a winner that I can see myself making a pound cake to have in the freezer just to make this again.

But first I'll have to get a gym membership.


Julie said...

That looks beautiful. And my mouth is watering.

H Munro said...

I think I just drooled on my keyboard....

Shan said...

Mmmm sounds yummy Karen. Although I'd pass on the nuts:) Oh and it be cheaper to skip the gym membership and buy a Wii!