“Rich, fatty foods are like destiny: they too, shape our ends.”
⎯Author UnknownSome days are for exercising and mindful eating and some days are for indulging. Today is one of those days when the air smells of spring, flowers are beginning to pop, and even though I’m still wearing my down coat over my running clothes while walking my dog in the park (it is Seattle after all), the rare sunshine convinces me that today is one of those days when eating something wonderful is in order and well deserved.
Recently, I had lunch with a friend at a restaurant in Seattle that is known for its amaretto bread pudding. By the end of the meal, we knew that we had to recreate it. This recipe doesn’t quite match the restaurant’s version, but after several iterations, it’s become a favorite in its own right. The bread pudding bursts with almond flavor, yet it’s not too sweet. The maple rum butter sauce with rum-soaked raisins and toasted pecans makes it a rich, decadent dessert. It is a little boozy (kids, out of the kitchen), and definitely that little something wonderful so deserved on the occasional Seattle sunny day.
Amaretto Bread Pudding with a Maple Rum Butter Sauce Recipe
For the amaretto bread pudding:
1 pound (453 g) brioche, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup (62 g) roughly chopped pecans, toasted (procedure follows)
1/2 cup (80 g) golden raisins
1-1/2 (360 ml) cup whole milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup (grade B)
1/2 cup (120 ml) amaretto (almond liqueur)
1-1/2 tablespoons almond extract
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
generous pinch of fine salt
For the maple rum butter sauce:
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
2/3 cup (160 ml) maple syrup (grade B)
1/2 cup (113 g) butter
pinch of fine salt
1/4 (60 ml) cup dark rum
To make the amaretto bread pudding:
1 Before you begin: Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Generously butter a 9- x 11-inch ovenproof pan or six 1-cup ramekins and set aside. Place the brioche cubes in a large bowl and set aside.
2 In a small saucepan, add the raisins and amaretto. Bring to a simmer (small bubbles), remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes.
3 In an ovenproof pan, spread the pecans in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.
4 In a medium-size bowl, whisk the milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and almond extract. Blend in the raisins with the amaretto. Add the toasted pecans and give it a quick stir. Pour over the brioche, and gently fold until all the bread is coated and the mixture is absorbed. Put the mixture into the prepared pan or ramekins and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until set.
To make the maple rum butter sauce:
1 In a medium-size bowl, lightly beat the egg and set aside. In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream and maple syrup. Add the butter and continue stirring until melted.
2 When the sauce it hot (steamy), temper the egg by pouring a small stream of the sauce into the egg. While whisking the egg, continue pouring a little more until all the sauce is added. This technique will prevent the egg from turning into scrambled eggs.
3 Pour the sauce back into the pan and cook over medium-low heat and continue stirring until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, stir in the rum, and get ready for some boozy maple deliciousness!
4 Divide the bread pudding into individual serving dishes and top with a generous amount of the sauce. Best served warm. Enjoy!
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