Wednesday, September 29, 2010

pumpkin {baguette} bread pudding

I'm drowning in bread. School started last week + we've only been making baguettes... lots + lots of baguettes. Everyday it's scale, mix, wait, scale, shape, wait, roll, wait, load, eat. Everyyyy single day. It's great practice but the magic of bringing home a brown bag FULL of bread has lost some of its romance by day 8. Not to mention our garbage can was filling up with all the old bread that steadily grew into a heaping mound. I was feeling a bit guilty about throwing away all the extra baguettes; I tried offering it to a homeless guy who declined the free bread + proceeded to ask for money or marijuana or both. So instead I opted to use the day old bread to make a perfectly fall dessert, pumpkin {baguette} bread pudding.

The addition of cloves or pumpkin pie spice would give this bread pudding a warm spicy flavor-unfortunately I didn't have either. However, if it's bread that you've run out of please let me know, I have PLENTY.

Pumpkin Baguette Breading Pudding
1 1/2 cups heavy cream/milk (I used 1 cup cream 1/2 cup milk)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1 heaping tsp cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
5 cups cubed (1 inch) day-old baguette
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter + toss with bread cubes in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together cream/milk, pumpkin, eggs, sugar + spices until well combined. Pour over bread cubes + toss until bread is thoroughly coated. Pour into an ungreased 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle top with additional brown sugar + cinnamon. Bake for 25-30 minutes until custard has set.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Boston Creme Pie - Cake Wreck

I've been eying this recipe for a few months now. The picture in the book looks absolutely mouthwatering, and while my treats never seem to turn out pretty enough, I thought I could at least come close on this one.

Baking in my new kitchen is now such a treat for me. I have plenty of counter space to work on and cabinets to store the ridiculous amounts of supplies I accumulate. My oven even works how it's supposed to and doesn't burn the edge of everything to a crisp while leaving the center completely raw. With all of these kitchen advantages, I still managed to completely ruin this recipe.

Instead of waiting for the creme patissiere to cool completely, I assembled the finished product to transport it to my parents' for dinner. I carefully braced the plate in a cake carrier, which I also braced in the trunk (to compensate for my erratic driving). When I got there, the plate and the carrier hadn't moved - but the cake slid off the top and all of the filling had oozed out. Shocking, right?

We ended up just standing around the cake wreck and eating it. The flavors were great, but this recipe is obviously not meant to travel! I'll share the recipe next time I actually manage to make a proper Boston Creme Pie.