Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Bread Pudding from Aarti's Paarti

I don’t watch Food Network. I don’t even have cable. And that is why I had to find out about Aarti Sequeira through a friend. She is awesome. And even better, she is a food blogger first.

Aarti's recipes seem to be the kind of recipes I have been looking for. Easy and more importantly, variations on stuff I have already eaten.

Which why I decided to give huggy buggy bread pudding a try. Now, husband has been making bread pudding for years, and considers it to be one of his 'signature dishes'. And while I love what he makes ( a base of caramel, chocolate syrup added in), Aarti's recipe seemed to have some interesting ingredients, such as the coconut milk and the ginger.

(And of course the catchy song. How can you not like the catchy song.)

Days went by, and I bought one ingredient at a time.. First we bought the bread. Then there was no ginger. In the time we went to buy the ginger, we ate the bread. So we bought more bread. And waited for it to get old. Until came a day I realized that I am not going to make this pudding unless I make it out of stuff lying around the house.

So of course, I put some variations on Aarti's dish, and here it is! Refer to Aarti's dish on her website to compare to the original. And of course, if you can, make the original.

Ingredients

  • 6 dried dates in hot water ( I did not have whisky, I did not have figs. What I did have was dates. And hot water. So that's improv #1)
  • 1 can coconut milk. (full fat she says..I found a lite variety sitting around. Was not going to buy the full fat one also. Had to use this can up).
  • 2.5 cups whole milk. (Seriously, this was killing me. Whole milk has not entered my house in three years, and it was not going to today. 1 % it had to be.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar.
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated (I went all out with this ingredient. I grated enough ginger to feed an army, and then used it all in the recipe. No idea how much it was. probably 2/3 of a 2 inch ginger root.)
  • salt
  • cashews (had bought them, but ended up eating them before I started the recipe, so cashew-less pudding it was. Though I can see how they would have made the dish super awesome.)
  • 3 tbsp butter.( I saw how much a tbsp is. It scared me. So I used 1/6th of a butter stick. I think that's around1 tbsp)

All the other ingredients were not found in the house and therefore not used.

Now the how-to:

  • Cut the bread into 1" pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • 2 dishes are needed- 1 large roasting pan and one 9"x13" baking dish.

I did not have either. What I did have is a big glass dish by pyrex, and theHefty EZ foil baking pans (8x4). Used two of those instead, and greased them.

  • Whisked coconut and regular milk, soaked the bread in that.
  • In another bowl, whisked eggs, sugar, spices, ginger and salt.
  • Added the slices dates.
  • Poured this mix into the soaking bread, and tossed together.

To bake this, I had to improvise. So instead of using the roasting pan, I filled the EZ foil pans with the bread mix and placed them in the 9x13" Pyrex pan. I then added hot water into the pan, such that the water was half way at the level of the pans. (True to the original recipe).

  • Threw in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • Did not forget the shut door step.

In 35 minutes, delicious looking Huggy Buggy Pudding was ready. And the husband wandered into the kitchen. He suggested-hey- we have craisins lying around-want to throw those in too? So on top of the pudding they went. Everyone sat in the oven till we gave our baby a bath, dried him, fed him and put him in his crib.

The result was amazing. If I hadn't stopped to write this down, I probably would have finished the whole thing, and gained 15 kilos. But I did not. One little bowl (okay, two) was enough to put a huge grin on my face.

So thanks, Aarti, for your recipes. Will be trying out a lot of them for sure!

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