Thursday, February 14, 2013

valentines (mix.berry.bread.pudding)

well, it is valentines, one of those few occasions observed with that extra dash of "heart" (are you sighing?), anyway i decided to bake baguette again today, make it a little more crisper this time, it would take several hours with intermittent waiting, so far, it turned out nice and crisp in the outside, while still being firmly-soft inside (updates on the baguette are here).

i chatted a bit with the neighbor (as i asked for the baking dish) and asked if they enjoyed (or liked) the banana.dark.chocolate.pastry - fortunately they did "delicious" is their feedback.

so there are some left-over hot-milk-cake-bread, blue berries, black berries, raspberries and left-over mix-nut streussel, i thought of making bread pudding. again, i have never made bread pudding before, browsing the internet for the basics of creating this delectable pastry, guess what, this site came up with a recipe i had to try, and it is dated 2 years ago (on valentines day) la bella vita.


this morning though, i woke up with some progress on my bills (grateful for some good news *sigh*), anyway, lets get back into the details of this pastry. i made some changes on mine.

- did not use heavy cream (instead whipped butter and milk and sugar)
- did not use egg (just the milk, butter, sugar mixture)
- lessened the sugar
- did not use panettone (instead used left-over home made hot-milk-cake-bread)
- and i added as a topping left-over mix-nut-streussel (with a little hint of dark-cocoa-powder)

so, following the recipe, i chopped the bread into cubes, chopped the berries in halves, just so the juices of the berries actually melt into the bread. for the wet ingredients, simply mixed up 1 tsp butter, milk and sugar and whipped it until it formed a foam. for the streussel, it was a mix of chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, shaved coconut and pistachios), 1/4 tsp dark-cocoa-powder, sugar, butter, all purpose flour. your measurements should be based on the serving size your planning to bake. for the berry-mixture, simply mixed the berries with freshly squeezed lemon (that's it) no sugar.

you'll have to grease your baking container (i used a glass baking bowl) then lay a portion of your bread as the first layer then top with some of your berries, then top with another layer of your bread and top again with your berries (you can decide on how many layers you want, as long as it bakes), pour in the milk (or cream mixture), you'll have to let the bread soak-up the mixture, then i topped mine with the streussel, because i wanted some crunch over mush-bread (the streussel did form a crust on the edges of this pudding). for the bread to soak-up the liquid, you'll have to press the bread a bit, and let the pudding sit on room temperature for about 30 minutes.

two days ago, i tried to bake a hot-milk-sponge-cake, i made a mistake by putting in more baking powder, it turned out to be a cake-bread (it was good though), and this is what i used for this pudding.

and then there was some milk left, instead of letting it expire, i made a pasta-sauce out of it, with parsley, italian seasoning, basil, oregano, chives, rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest, reduced it and added some corn starch for the thickening agent, below is how the sauce looked like, it turned out to be really aromatic (i'd say because of the rosemary) and savory, especially when i sauteed this sauce with some ricotta.

i am mentioning this because, as i read the background of "bread pudding" it is one of those french desserts classified under "the art of baking stale bread" (though my bread was only 3 days old) learning how to make something new and flavorful out of left-over ingredients is actually a good thing (you just don't throw food away), how about ... "the art of not wasting food?"