25 October 2012

Bruleed Lemon Cake Bread Pudding




Yea!  It's a bonus post!  I only had enough frosting for a 2 layer cake earlier this week, but the recipe made 3 layers.  So, I had a leftover layer of cake.  What to do, what to do?  Make Bread Pudding.  That's what to do!  I'm not even gonna fool around and try to make you think that there is anything even remotely nutrionally redeeming about this bread pudding.  It's almost horrifically bad for you.  It's all butter, cream, and sugar.  But it sure is tasty.
cake soaking up the custard

Bread pudding is a real southern classic.  It's a great way to use stale bread and turn it into something delicious.  I had some almost stale cake, so I figured that switch had to be a win-win situation.  I was pretty darn right if I do say so myself.  This cake has a nice density, so it made a really good bread substitute.  This turned out a lot like a traditional bread pudding texture-wise, but with a little more sweetness.  It's also nice and lemony, which is most decidedly not traditional for bread pudding, but is a really lovely twist.

pre-caramelized pudding about to get broiled

Traditional bread puddings are served with a hard sauce, which is a sauce made from butter, sugar, and some sort of liquor.  Most recipes call for rum, bourbon, or whiskey.  Since this dessert was already made from cake soaked in custard, I decided to leave out the sauce.  Instead, I sprinkled the top of the cooked pudding with some coarse raw sugar and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.  The broiler melted and caramelized the sugar, turning it into a crispy, crunchy crust on top.  I think the texture contrast is a step in the right direction, since I think so many bread puddings are too heavy and soggy to be drenched in sauce.



If you don't want to make the bread pudding right away after making the lemon cake, you can wrap the cake up in some plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container and throw it in the freezer for up to a month.  Just take it out and thaw it when you are ready for some bread pudding.

Bruleed Lemon Cake Bread Pudding
makes a 9x13" dish of pudding

Print me, Please!!!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
One 8" lemon cake layer (click on link to get lemon cake recipe)
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar (a.k.a. Sugar in the Raw) or granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the butter and sugar until they are completely blended and the mixture starts to clump together.  Add the eggs, cream, and extracts; process until well combined.

Crumble the cake into chunks (mostly about 1", but they don't need to be consistent).  Spread the cake chunks evenly in the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish.  Pour the custard over the cake.  Press down lightly on any cake chunks that are not submerged in the custard.  Let the custard soak into the cake for 10 minutes.

Cover the pudding with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and the custard is completely set.  Remove the pudding from the oven; preheat the broiler.  Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top of the pudding.  Place the pudding under the broiler for 2-4 minutes (depending on the coarseness of your sugar), or until the sugar is mostly melted, caramelized, and golden.  Keep an eye on it, though, because the broiler will burn things super quick!



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