Capirotada – Mexican Bread Pudding
Happy Valentine’s Day.
  1. If using sliced bread (as I did), remove crusts and butter the slices on one side. Cut each slice into two and place on a cookie sheet (or two sheets) with buttered side facing up. Bake at 180C for 10 -15 minutes till golden brown. I pulsed the peanuts and almonds, separately, in my mixer/ blender jar to just crush them. Otherwise chop them up into pieces.
  2. I used jaggery here as it seems similar to pilonchillo. I also like the flavor that jaggery lends to sweet dishes.
  3. Put the jaggery and water in a pan, stir, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, add the cinnamon, cloves and star anise and simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. The flavours of the spices would have infused into the syrup. Remove the whole spices.
  4. Grease a deep pie dish with 1/2 tbsp butter (I used my 6u201d by 6u201d by 2 1/2u201ccake tin).
  5. Keep aside about 2 tbsp of the peanuts and 1/4 cup grated cheese.
  6. Spread one third of the bread to cover the bottom of the pie dish. Sprinkle half of the remaining peanuts and half of the almonds over this. Now layer half the sliced banana and then half of the remaining cheese over this. Now pour 1 cup of the syrup all over this so that the bread can soak it up.
  7. Repeat this process with another one third the bread, remaining peanuts, almonds, sliced bananas, grated cheese and another 1 cup of syrup.
  8. Now arrange the last one third of the bread pieces. Sprinkle the grated cheese and peanuts that was initially kept aside. Pour the last 1 cup of syrup over this and dot with remaining 1/2 tbsp butter.
  9. Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool for about 1/2 hour or longer. Serve warm or cold.
Recipe Notes

This pudding tastes somewhat like an apple pie in a bread pudding. The flavors of the spice infused syrup were interesting and unusual and there was only a hint of the presence of the cheese.

My daughter wouldn’t go anywhere near it after the first mouthful!

My husband was away on work, again, and managed to make it home just in time for dinner and dessert, which is his favorite part of any meal. He and I liked our dessert and I would definitely be making this again. We also felt that the Capirotada tasted better after being refrigerated (than warm) and the flavours came out better the next day.

So this is being sent across to Sunita for this month’s Think spice, Think Star Anise. Check this link for some more info and a nice write up on Capirotada.

DK of Culinary Bazaar has been kind enough to include this bread pudding to her A.W.E.D. -Viva Mexicana event which is a collection of Mexican recipes.