I’m noticing a trend here on “Cooking with Zig”. We’re straying into boozeahol central, and it’s starting to affect our success. But, we’re human (mostly), so we’ll share our failures as well as our victories. Hopefully, we can give you some pointers to steer you right where we went wrong.
Every so often, I bring home a bagel pack from work. 13 bagels is a lot for just the two of us, but I’m all about thinking outside the box. I took some of the sweeter natured bagels and made a bread pudding – or at least, that was the intention…
Cooking with Zig
Step 1: Stale the bread (3 cups, or two bagels, cause Zig’s not gonna remember to tell you that)
If your bread’s already gone, gold stars! You can pass Go and collect your other ingredients. Everybody else, cube the bread, about grape sized, and just leave ’em. Fuckin’ leave ’em, and chase away Spiders as needed. Bait the kitchen with other yummy treats if needed. Or squirrel them away in your room, just watch out for your brother’s girlfriend’s pet squirrel. He’s a rascal.
Focus Zig. Oh! Sorry. Moving on. (24 hours later, if you need to stale your bread)
Step 2: Get the custard going.
I’d get out the stand mixer for this one, even though I didn’t. I just wasn’t thinking when I started this venture, cause I was making lunch at the same time. My bad. You’re armed with the knowledge of my failures, so you’re welcome. Carry on.
- 5 Large Eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
Bread goes into the mix (or mix goes over the bread, depending on how you feel about washing dishes. Less is more, if you ask me, but whatever. My bread pudding didn’t work, so take my laziness with that warning, I guess.) Let it chill for ten mins, while you get crumby.
Step 3: Get crumby
Hop in your time machines and get out a stick of butter to soften. Cut it in half first, cause you’re gonna use a quarter cup one way and the other, another. Hint: Toss the second half in a sauce pan for later, if you’re going the “less is more” dishes route. But not til later. Right now, you’re dealing with one half stick (1/4 cup) and a half cup of packed brown sugar. The recipe I was following called for a cuppa nuts, which I wasn’t into (today), but again, probably a mistake. Pecans, if you’re gonna go nutty. Either way, time to dish.
Step 4: Scrape n Bake
Another pitfall for me was the wrong pan. My go to for baked goods is a 9 x 9, but in this case, I shoulda used the 8 x 12. Thicker is not the answer today, kiddos. The custard didn’t set, and the textures didn’t match from top to bottom. Pick something that’ll let it all spread into a relatively thin layer of awesome sauce (Oh god, the sauce. The sauce was another misstep. Sooooo many missteps today…)
So bread in the pan, nut or nutless crumb in the pan (Mine didn’t want to crumble so well, so I wound up with blobs of yum rather than a more even coating. Again, going nutless was probably a mistake- but I love Jules anyways, and I REGRET NOTHIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!)
Technical Error: Please Stand By (while I go collect Zig from whatever cliff he just jumped off of. brb)
Aaaaaand we’re back!
Step 4, con’t: The BAKE part of the Scrape n Bake
While your time machine is still warmed up, preheat the over to 350. Bake for 35-45, or until the custard is set. I gave mine an extra 20 mins beyond the 45, and it STILL wasn’t set! Again, my pan was way too deep. Don’t be afraid to spread you
wings custard and fly.
(This isn’t a cake guys, it’s gonna be kinda weird. Basically, if it’s a wigglin’ or jigglin’, its not done. ..my god, you guys, I sound like Zig…)
Step 5: Get sauced!
Time to break out the Bailey’s! But first, Zig– Oh yeah! First, let me warn you guys that this shit is saucy! Like, super saucy. Like, doing a shot saucy. AND its sugary, like waaaaay sugary, so I’m thinking if I gave this another go, I’d scale it way back. …but maybe not, if I were getting more pudding by spreading it thin. I dunno. You can always make the full batch but not pour it straight over your pudding like I did. I dunno. Go crazy.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 c softened butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 c Bailey’s (or any other Irish Cream)
If you wanna cook some of the sauciness out, add this all in one go. If you like the saucy factor, wait until you’ve cooked this baby down to add the booze. Either way, you’re looking to cook until smooth, like all the sugar/grainy factor is gone. No matter what, just stir stir stir. Don’t push it above medium heat, just go low and slow. If you’ve done it right, this can hang out on the stove til the bread’s ready and not break. If it does break, just toss it out. It’s no good now, and you’ll basically just be pouring butter and booze on your bread (three guesses how I know that?). Again, with hindsight, I’d have NOT pours this straight onto the hot pudding, nor would I have used the whole amount. Huh. You guys see that? I said “nor”. Hee, I’m awesome. 😀
Yeah, Zig, you’re amazing. And yet, between the two of us, we still couldn’t pull of a bread pudding. I’m not going to subject you guys to photos of this nastiness- it’s grey and greasy and unappealing. It was WAY too sweet, to the point that I’m considering making another pudding and throwing this one on top of it as a garnish. 😛 But I think, with some adjustments, it could really work, just… no where near as much sugar. And I think I’m done cooking with booze for a minute. I’m starting to feel my liver, and I don’t think you’re supposed to be aware of it.
…maybe I can just give this dish to Fen. He likes booze, right?