As I mentioned in the last post, I decided to have a New Orleans tribute day which included jambalaya and New Orleans bread pudding (p. 822) with a Southern whiskey sauce (p. 852).
I am an experienced bread pudding baker--I love bread pudding and frequently make it. In fact, I'm the second generation of people who love bread pudding--my mom and dad used to make it from leftover donuts all the time in college. So the fact that this recipe confused me is really impressive--I don't know if I would have guessed my way through the directions correctly if I had never made bread pudding before.
The recipe says to cut French or Italian bread into half inch slices and then arrange the slices almost upright in tightly spaced rows.
What does that mean?
Usually the loafs aren't sliced--was I supposed to leave it in a loaf?
I figured no, I would slice it one way, and then slice it into strips:
I think that was correct, since the recipe turned out well. I sprinkled dried cranberries over the bread (I used cranberries instead of raisins because I like them more).
I mixed eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl until frothy:
I poured the liquid over the bread:
And let it soak for an hour. I then baked it for about an hour until the top was puffy and lightly browned:
And onto the sauce--
I melted butter in a small saucepan and then stirred in sugar, bourbon (Maker's Mark!), water, nutmeg, and salt). I used TJOC's trick for adding in an egg--I added hot sauce to a beaten egg and then added the mixture back to the sauce. I figure they want you to do it that way so you don't end up with scrambled eggs in your sauce.
I then cooked it for about a minute and set it aside for an hour (conveniently the amount of time the bread pudding needs to be in the oven):
I poured it over the bread pudding and it was done:
Not only was it good but it knocked two recipes off some of my more-neglected chapters (desserts and frozen desserts and sweet sauces). The bread pudding was light and fluffy, with a nice bite from the dried cranberries. The whiskey sauce was delicious but STRONG. I don't recommend bringing a serving of this to work--you would smell like you took a couple whiskey shots at work. The bread pudding kept really well, too. In fact, I think it got better over time, as the flavors melded.