Sunday, March 15, 2015

Vietnamese Coffee Bread Puddings

I baked this because…

1.     The first time I had bread pudding with at a restaurant in Bath, England. My mind was BLOWN (!!!) by how an everyday staple could be transformed into a rich, custardy pudding that was soft and gooey.

2.    Nutella sauce on anything makes things right, even for a few seconds. And right now, with all the upheaval and parental complaints at work – I TAKE WHAT I CAN (EAT).

3.   Bananas, bread, coffee, condensed milk = everyday pantry staples for a quick, gratifying dessert.

4.   People stress eat. I stress bake. Then stress eat. Not so different from everybody else after all, hahaha.

Vietnamese coffee powder is a favourite in my household because the flavor is strong AND fragrant. Vietnamese coffee is ‘gao’, hence the addition of condensed milk and eggs. The coconut extract, cinnamon and banana make this pudding ‘tropically’ and balance well with the coffee! Usually bread pudding recipes call for stale sweeter breads like challah and brioche, but I like to clear my pantry and used a cinnamon raisin variety instead. 

Bread puddings are usually topped with ice cream or whipped cream, but my love for Nutella prevails with this easy chocolatey drizzle. There’s no recipe, just mix your desired amount of Nutella with some milk, and you can even add some coffee powder for an additional flavour boost!

Vietnamese Coffee Banana Bread Pudding
Makes 6 muffins
·       5 ounces raisin bread, torn into pieces
·       1 cups milk
·       2 tablespoons Vietnamese coffee powder
·       2 large egg yolks
·       1 egg
·       2 tablespoons cup light brown sugar
·       1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
·       ¼  teaspoons ground nutmeg
·       5 ounces sweetened condensed milk
·       1 teaspoons vanilla extract
·       1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
·       1 ripened banana, mashed
Grease muffin tins with cooking spray or butter. Preheat oven to 160C.Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup milk in small microwave-safe bowl or glass liquid measuring cup and microwave 1 minute. Add espresso powder and stir until dissolved.

In large bowl, whisk egg yolks, egg, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and until smooth. Whisk in condensed milk, espresso-milk mixture, remaining 1/2 cups milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract; whisk until thoroughly combined.
Gently stir bread and bananas together in a separate bowl. Add mixture to bread mixture, gently fold until everything has been soaked. Transfer to muffin pans and let the bread soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, or overnight.
Place dish on rimmed baking sheet and bake on middle rack until custard has set and releases no liquid when pressed, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before turning them out. Drizzle with Nutella sauce or garnish with freshly whipped cream.
Baker’s Notes
1.     Internet sites vary on their advice on how long to soak the bread, but I settle for a medium of 4 hours. 20 minutes makes my pudding too dry and overnight – too soggy!
2.    Bread pudding is done when the tops are puffed and golden brown, no ‘juice’ should seep out when you press the pudding.

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