Kramer and I are very excited to be in our new apartment, because we finally get to decorate, buy some decent furniture, and just really make a home our of the place. The last apartment was so depressing and had almost no sunlight, so being in a place with lots of windows and a big kitchen is so inspiring. Because of this, we spent the weekend going around picking up odds and ends, and as a result, I am beyond exhausted. It’s tiring doing major shopping in New York because we don’t have a car – we either have to carry everything ourselves, or pay a lot of money for a cab ride home from Manhattan or pay the large delivery fee that most stores charge. It was worth it, though, because we got some things we really needed, like a nice coffee table and blinds for our bedroom. We celebrated the new apartment on Sunday with brunch at Colicchio & Sons, which was absolutely beyond fantastic. Colicchio really knows how to open a restaurant, I’ll tell you that. It was definitely one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. I highly recommend checking it out if you have the opportunity.
Speaking of celebrating, what better way to celebrate than with a little whiskey? I made this bread pudding last week to use up some of the liquor we had at the old apartment, and I think it may have been one of the best things I’ve ever made. I think it would be the perfect thing to serve to your loved one for Valentine’s Day – whisky is romantic, isn’t it? This bread pudding is made extra delicious thanks to the brioche bread that I used to make it. Brioche is a wonderfully light, sweet bread, so it paired perfectly with the whisky custard mixture, not to mention the caramel whiskey glaze that I drenched the entire pudding with. You can really use any day or two old bread in this recipe, but I can’t say enough good things about the brioche. It really bumps up the overall flavor and texture of the pudding. This is quite a decadent dessert, but it is so creamy and caramel-y that I don’t think anybody would be able to resist it. I don’t know of a more perfect dessert for the cold winter months than this rich whisky bread pudding.
Combine the egg yolks, whisky that was used to soak the raisins, brown sugar, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Soak the bread in the egg yolk mixture for at least 30 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Place half of the bread mixture into your prepared pan and sprinkle with half of the raisins. Top that with the rest of the bread mixture, then top with the remaining raisins. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 325 degrees F for 35-45 minutes, until mostly set.
Stir together the melted butter, cinnamon, and granulated sugar.
Pour the melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar over the cooked bread pudding, then place back into a 450 degree F oven for 20 minutes, until crispy and golden. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Melt together the butter and brown sugar for the caramel whiskey sauce and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in the whisky, stirring carefully (the whiskey will flame up). When the flames are gone, add in the heavy cream gradually.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until thickened. Pour over the still warm bread pudding.
- 7 cups stale brioche (or any other bread, but brioche makes this something special), torn into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup jumbo raisins
- ⅓ cup whisky
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whisky
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- In a small bowl, combine the raisins and the whisky. Allow the raisins to soak in the whiskey for 30 minutes. Strain the raisins from the whiskey, placing the raisins in one bowl and reserving the whiskey to add to the pudding.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and prepare your 9x9 pan by greasing all sides with non-stick spray (or butter). I used a 9-inch pie pan that my husband's Aunt Beth sent to us (thanks, Beth!). In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whisky that was used to soak the raisins, brown sugar, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss the bread cubes with the egg yolk mixture, making sure to soak every piece. Allow the bread to soak for at least 30 minutes so that it absorbs most of the liquid.
- Place half of your bread mixture into your prepared pan, then sprinkle with half of the whisky soaked raisins. Place the rest of the bread mixture into the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining raisins. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes, until mostly set.
- After the bread pudding has cooked, remove it from the oven and turn the heat in the oven up to 450 degrees F. Combine the melted butter, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and granulated sugar, then pour over the cooked bread pudding. Place it back into the 450 degree F oven and bake for another 20 minutes, until the bread pudding is crusty and golden.
- Let the pudding cool for 20 minutes, then pour the caramel whisky glaze (recipe follows) over the top and serve.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir until the butter and sugar are beginning to caramelize and the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn the heat down on your stove to low, and very carefully add the whisky to the pot. The alcohol will flame up a bit, but just remove the pan from the heat a bit and stir, then bring it back down to the heat.
- Gradually add in the heavy cream and turn the mixture up to medium heat until the sauce starts to simmer, and allow to simmer and bubble just a bit for about 8-10 minutes, until thickened. Pour over the fully baked bread pudding while still warm.