I think it’s about that time of the year when you want to curl up with a hot, sticky pudding, with thick, creamy custard sauce poured over the top, whether for breakfast or dessert. I’ve been trying to think of ways to use up the leftover yeast doughnuts I made, and had this vague idea of making bread pudding. An ultra decadent pudding that is perfect for Christmas morning, New Year’s eve, or anytime you’re craving for a sweet treat.
My friend Erik had told me he was planning on making a French toasts with creme anglaise, so I decided to steal his idea and turn a breakfast dish into a dessert. There’s a whole lot of anticipation involved, especially when they’re sitting in the oven releasing that enticing sugar-and-butter fragrance. You know it has to be good!
Instead of the creme anglaise, you can use melted (good quality) vanilla ice cream as some recipe suggests, but why would you? This sauce is simply a classic that you learn it once and probably want to make again and adapt for various desserts. Or, maybe, if you’re not a sweets person, you can skip the sugar and turn it into a savory, mustard creme anglaise to serve with crudite at your next holiday party.
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup whole hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 large glazed yeast doughnuts, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- (Optional: 2 tbsps Frangelico hazelnut liqueur)
- For creme anglaise:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 1½-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine all pudding ingredients except doughnuts in large bowl; mix well. Add doughnut pieces; mix until coated. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes.
- Pour into prepared dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly.
- To prepare the creme anglaise: in a small saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Drizzle creme anglaise over slightly cooled pudding. Serve immediately.