Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Coconut Caramel Brioche Pudding

So many eggs.  I feel like most other bread pudding recipes ask for a 1 egg to 1 cup milk ratio, but this one was 8 eggs to 1 cup liquid.  Plus some mascarpone and brioche bread that just bumped this baby up from comforting to indulgent.

The original recipe asked for challah bread but I just used supermarket brioche rolls.  These brioche rolls always make me nostalgic.  In fact, you'll find that I say that in most of my posts, I either link a recipe to an old memory or I talk about my current life.  It's all about me, it is a personal blog, I'm allowed to be self-absorbed here. 

So back to these brioche rolls.  I used to have these Italian versions of them with chocolate stuffed in the middle.  I've talked about Mulino Bianco, the Italian-equivalent of Pepperidge Farm and McVitties, but much much better.  I mean look how good that looks.  Look at the packaging, the color scheme, the logo.  Doesn't looking at it just give you a sepia image of a happy Italian family eating breakfast on a farm?

These were more of an afternoon snack rather than something for breakfast.  But look, here's the cookie range.  This was an older advertisement and admittedly they didn't get the colors quite right then, it's all a bit too sharp and harsh on the eye.

And what's brilliant is that now Antonio Banderas is their spokesperson.  It's like, oh, wouldn't you want to have breakfast with Antonio?  Look at his rugged sexiness preparing you breakfast at the crack of dawn in a beautiful house with high ceilings.  This is advertising at its finest.

This pudding recipe originally was called "breakfast pudding".  For me it's a bit too much first thing in the morning (unless delivered by Antonio), so for me it's more of a dessert. 

This recipe asks for a butter-sugar caramel to be made first, then you just place the bread slices on top, soak it all up with the egg-milk-mascarpone mixture and let that rest over night before baking it the following morning.

Recipe adapted from The New York Times
80g / 6tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
12 - 15 slices brioche bread
1 cup milk
8 eggs
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes + more for topping

*If you have a large oven proof pan for this then it's perfect, if not, don't worry, just make the caramel in a separate saucepan and pour it into a baking vessel. 

In a large oven-proof saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Place over medium low heat. The butter will melt and the sugar will dissolve; it will boil for a few minutes, then begin to brown. Adjust heat and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so that it browns evenly. When it reaches a dark brown, remove from heat leave to cool (if not using an oven proof sauce pan as your baking vessel, make the caramel in a standard sauce pan then pour into the base of a 9-inch ceramic or Pyrex pie). Swirl the caramel around the base and 1 inch up the sides of the pan.  Leave pan to chill until cool.

After chilling, cut the brioche roll into slices and place them all over the pan or the baking vessel.  They should fill the pie dish snugly and they can overlap, don't worry.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and mascarpone cheese, until very smooth. Add milk and coconut flakes.  Pour this over the bread, making sure to saturate all of it. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

In the morning, take pie dish out of refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for about 30-40 minutes (it might rise up but don't worry once you take it out it will deflate like a sad little souffle).  

Remove from oven and run a knife around edge of dish, loosening bread from sides. Place a serving plate over top of dish (bottom side up), and, using potholders, hold pudding over sink and in a single fluid motion, holding it away from your body, invert plate. Lift off pie dish. Scrape any extra caramel from pie dish over pudding. Sprinkle some more coconut flakes on top and serve. 

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