The reason for this bread pudding and post is Paper Chef. If you haven’t come across this before, Paper Chef is a virtual competition where 4 ingredients are randomly chosen every month, from a list which I understand is presently 103 items long! What you do is come up with a recipe using those 4 ingredients, cook it up, photograph it and blog about it. And if you win, you get to choose the next month’s 4 ingredients!
In the past, I’ve always wanted to join the fun at Paper Chef but never found the time. When I did find the time, the ingredients were either not available here or not suitable for a vegetarian chef. And then Paper Chef took a break.
Well, Paper Chef is back again, and I mentioned to Ilva (one of the hosts) that I wouldn’t be able to make the 7th deadline so maybe I would join in next month. Ilva, being the sweet person she is, told me she would accomodate my being a bit ate to the party so here I am.
It turns out that this month’s 4 ingredients are just down my alley. The ingredients are “Bread, Chocolate, Berries and Lime”
Bread and chocolate are two things I really like and lime seemed right since we don’t seem to get lemons in India! The “berries” was a bit of a problem as its monsoon (seasonal rains) in my part of the world and mango time, not berry time. But that’s when I remembered I had some cranberries in the fridge.
It really takes one food blogger to know another; we know just what sort of gifts to get each other that would push the right buttons! I have mentioned how Finla played Santa in February by sending me a bag full of “loot” including 2 boxes of cranberries. Last week, Harini came down to stay over and guess what she brought me? Cranberries and lot of other foodie stuff plus some photography props! Now, these two ladies and I have been friends for a while and our friendship goes way beyond food and blogging, but well thought out gifts always help, right?
When I first saw the ingredient bread, all I could think of was bread pudding. One would think that bread pudding is easy enough to make but a lot of the time bread pudding seems to turn out a gloppy messy thing which I wouldn’t touch with the proverbial ten foot pole!
For me bread pudding is soft, creamy and moist while just holding its shape and texture. You should be able to slice through it with your spoon and have it almost dissolve in your mouth.
The challenge here was how to incorporate the lime into the bread pudding. I finally decided to make a sauce out of it. We also don’t like “eggy” custards here at home, so I made my custard for the bread pudding and the sauce with vanilla flavoured custard powder.
I used ordinary white bread, but the bread pudding would taste better if one used brioche, challah or other enriched breads. I made individual bread puddings using dariole moulds as I find it easy to unmould and serve them this way. You can also bake them in ramekins or in an 8” square dish.