Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hummingbird Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese Glaze

In Singapore, I grew up on a rice based diet with occasional soupy inflections of noodles (beehoon, ramen - the works!) So bread pudding was a completely foreign and off putting dessert to me. Mucky white bread in soup? Eh Meh. But enlightenment dawned when a friend suggested we try Nigella’s caramel croissant bread pudding and I’ve never looked back.

This recipe is loosely based off my ALL TIME FAVOURITE desserts show - Unique Sweets (Episode-Something Old, Something New). Donna Bell Bake Shop in NYC twisted a classic American cake into bread pudding. EVERYTHING SHOULD BE MADE INTO A BREAD PUDDING. This one has white chocolate, pineapples and bananas, slathered with a cream cheese glaze and toasted walnuts. A welcome tropical twist on a usually heavy dessert.  

I don't know about other parts of the world, but the cupcake trend is still alive and well in Singapore. Hopefully one day with the help of instagram / social media, a bread pudding craze will descend on our shores! ONE CAN DREAM.. 

Hummingbird Bread Pudding (Serves 6) 
Recipe Adapted from Donna Bell's Bakeshop

  • cup whole milk
  • 1  1 greased jumbo muffin tin
  • tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • bananas, 1 mashed, 1 cut into small bites
  • 225g (1 cup) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 4 stale croissants (torn into pieces)
  • Zest + juice of 1 lemon
For the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a jumbo muffin pan with flavourless oil. Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Add the sugar, salt and spices. Mix in the smashed banana. Fold in the banana pieces, pineapple and white chocolate. Mix in the croissant pieces and let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring after 5 to 10 minutes. Pour mixture into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. (45 minutes if using a serving dish)

Cream Cheese Pecan Sauce
·  60g cream cheese, softened
·  tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
·  tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
·  1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
·  1/2 cup toasted crushed pecans, for sprinkling on top
·  Zest + juice of 1/2 lemon

Whip the cream cheese with a spoon, then slowly add in the sugar until smooth. Mix in the milk and vanilla. Let the bread pudding cool slightly, and then drizzle the cream cheese sauce over the warm cake. Top with the toasted pecans.

Baker's Notes
1. The recipe called for regular french bread, but I prefer croissants because they're slightly buttery-er. Stale bread is best because it soaks up more of the custard!
2. The addition of citrus to the custard and sauce gives the pudding a lighter, tangier take.  

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