And I do mean ever! Seriously, I don’t know if it is the bread that Fairway Market sent over (thanks Susan!! It’s delicious!), the ridiculously amazing recipe from Bon Appetit, or the substitution of Cognac in place of Bourbon but this bread pudding is — OUT OF THIS WORLD. Some of you maybe going, ‘Bread pudding, who the heck cares about that?’ but I’m telling you friends, this is above and beyond any bread pudding I’ve ever tasted.
A quick update on my hot water heater situation – ours is still broken – from Oct 29th. We’ve almost reached 2 weeks with no hot water AND the plumber says this morning we won’t have hot water for at least another week. In the mean time we’ve been told at least twice that we’d have the heater “tomorrow”, the day comes and goes and we get ignored by the management company of the building. I’m reaching a breaking point. I wrote a pretty nasty email to the only email address I have for the management company in hopes that I’ll get some type of response. All of that being said, I’m so super stressed out. We have dishes for weeks and I’m showering in a cold empty apartment on the floor above us, its scary being in there, I make my boyfriend come up with me every day.
All in all, I really need this bread pudding to be something special. Maybe that’s the reason it was so good? Whatever the cause, my boyfriend says I need to make it for every holiday. I know everyone will enjoy it. It’s not the plain old bread pudding we’re all used to (by the way – my Mommom makes the best bread pudding I’ve ever had — before this one!!). No, this bread pudding is elegant, decadent, and perfect for any occasion. Seriously, me alone with this bread pudding, stressing out about my hot water heater is a bad idea. But it’s just sooo good.
Alright enough of my talking, here’s the most amazing bread pudding recipe you’ll ever find. Because I have not had hot water I did not have any traditional bakeware to cook the bread pudding in. I used both a cupcake tin and a bundt pan, clearly you do not have to do that.
Pecan, Cognac, Butterscotch Bread Pudding
adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon cognac (optional)
1 pound day-old rustic white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2” cubes (12 cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Pinch of kosher salt
3 tablespoons cognac
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
For the butterscotch sauce: Bring brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Boil until mixture is syrupy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat then add milk and cognac, and stir until smooth. Let cool.
For the pudding: Toss bread, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl and set aside.
With an electric hand mixer, beat eggs and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar in another large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add creams, poppy seeds, and salt. Beat to blend. Place cognac in a small bowl and scrape in the seeds from vanilla bean. Whisk to distribute seeds, then add to egg mixture, whisking to blend well.
Pour egg mixture over bread mixture in bowl. Add pecans and toss to coat well.
Transfer mixture to a glass or ceramic baking dish, spreading out in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Remove plastic wrap and bake until top is browned in spots and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 1–1 1/2 hours. Serve bread pudding with butterscotch sauce.
Dig in! It won’t last long!