I recently visited Noma, which was a phenomenal experience you can read about here. However, by the end of the meal I was craving some comfort food. The next day, I was trying to think about my favourite restaurant meal, and what kept coming into my mind was the meal I describe below. Not an ant in sight!
Bread Pudding or Pain Perdue
I love bread pudding or Pain Perdue (French for lost bread). I already have a pumpkin panettone recipe on my blog but this one, New Orleans White Chocolate Pain Perdue with Bourbon Caramel Sauce, may be my favourite. Although I do have another bread pudding, Marmalade with cointreau soaked sultanas or golden raisons which is pretty special too.
When College visiting we went to New Orleans to check out Tulane. We got off to a slightly tricky start when Alan decided to take our fairly young children down Bourbon Street, New Orleans Red Light District. The mood was not improved when, later that day, we passed by a hotel and through its large glass doors saw two naked ladies having their bodies painted.
I, however decided I loved New Orleans. With its French architecture, balconies, chandeliers and ‘Interview with a Vampire’ vibe it was an unexpected visit to Europe and made me very happy. I was desperately disappointed when none of my children chose to go to Tulane.
The highlight of our trip was dinner at Muriel’s. We had headed out to a recommended restaurant in the French Quarter only to discover it was closing at 9pm. 9pm in New Orleans! The owner suggested we try the restaurant round the corner called Muriel’s. It was super cool, with exposed brick walls and old world charm. I can still see the absolutely gorgeous glazed pork chop and mashed potatoes they served, have I mentioned my potato obsession?
However the Pièce de Résistance was the bread pudding or Pain Perdue with Caramelised Pecans. .I think somewhere on this website I have expressed my view that Sticky Toffee Pudding may just possibly be the best dessert in the world. Now I am not so sure.
At the time of our visit Muriel’s very kindly printed their recipes on their website. When I looked up the bread pudding I discovered that the secret ingredient was white chocolate. The quantities on the website were catering for large numbers of people and the recipe read
31/2 French Loaves
I have scaled down their version and replaced the french bread with challah or panettone. Feel free to use whichever is to hand. I recently tried it with sourdough, as it is hard to get brioche or challah in Copenhagen. At a push, any stale white bread would do, as the original intention of all bread puddings was to use up leftovers in a time when nothing was allowed to go to waste. I have not added a recipe for caramelising the pecans as Trader Joes do such a good job it is something I never do. If you cannot find caramelised pecans, regular ones will be perfectly acceptable. Adding Bourbon is optional!
New Orleans White Chocolate Pain Perdue with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Quite possibly the best dessert in the world!
- 4 CUPS/2 PINTS/960ML HEAVY CREAM or a mix of heavy cream and milk
- 8oz white chocolate
- SPLASH OF VANILLA
- 8 EGGS
- 1/3 CUP/2.5OZ/80G SUGAR
- HALF OF I LB. PANETTONE or 1/2 lb of Brioche, again around half
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 4OZ/110G/ONE STICK BUTTER
- 6 OZ SOFT BROWN SUGAR
- splash of Bourbon
- 6 TABLESPOONS HEAVY CREAM
- TO SERVE
- WHIPPED CREAM
- Candied Pecans, Thank you Trader Joes
- Step 1 ADD CREAM TO A PAN AND HEAT UNTIL IT JUST REACHES BOILING POINT. THE TECHNICAL TERM FOR THIS IS ‘SCALDING’ THE CREAM.
- Step 2 ADD THE WHITE CHOCOLATE AND LEAVE TO MELT.
- Step 3 IN A SEPARATE BOWL, MIX EGGS, SUGAR AND VANILLA TOGETHER.
- Step 4 ADD THE HOT CREAM AND MELTED WHITE CHOCOLATE TO THE EGG MIXTURE, WHISKING CONSTANTLY.
- Step 5 CUT THE CRUST OFF THE BRIOCHE,AND THEN SLICE INTO HALF-INCH TRIANGLES.
- Step 6 LAYER BRIOCHE IN A MEDIUM SIZED CASSEROLE DISH THEN COVER WITH THE EGG MIXTURE. REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT, OR AT LEAST FOR A FEW HOURS TO ALLOW THE MIXTURE TO SOAK INTO THE BREAD
- Step 7 PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F
- Step 8 TAKE A DEEP DISH WIDE ENOUGH TO FIT THE CASSEROLE DISH AND FILL WITH ENOUGH WATER TO COME HALF WAY UP THE SIDES OF THE DISH.
- Step 9 BAKE IN OVEN UNTIL THE PUDDING PUFFS AND IS SET IN THE CENTER, ABOUT 45 MINUTES. COOL SLIGHTLY
- Step 10 SERVE WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND HOT CARAMEL SAUCE. .
- Step 11 TO MAKE THE CARAMEL SAUCE
- Step 12 PLACE THE FIRST THREE INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE INTO A SAUCEPAN AND HEAT GENTLY UNTIL SUGAR HAS MELTED AND SAUCE IS BUBBLING, add bourbon.
- Step 13 WHEN SERVING TOP WITH CANDIED PECANS, ROUGHLY CHOPPED