Category Archives: Desserts

Pie crust and gluten free flour

I have to admit, pie crust has been a problem for me to make.  I've just not had good luck with it.  Last year, I went to whole foods and loaded up on crust.  They are wonderful!  But, you only get a bottom crust. I wanted more.  Whole Foods is not close to me, so if I run out it's not like I can run out and buy a crust easily.    

What led me to even trying to make a crust myself, was an article I read last year in a magazine.  The magazine took several recipes from regular cookbooks, then used a gluten free flour blend as a cup per cup replacement for flour.  They used several blends and gave the results of each recipe used.  I have to tell you, I am so sick of having so many flours and recipes that use so many flours.  I have many recipes I just love, but it seems like as soon as I want to make something, I will be out of just one of the flours I need.  Then there is the issue of storing them all.  My cupboard only has so much space. 

It got me thinking and experimenting on my own.  Right before I was diagnosed, I had purchased, "Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook'.  I  never got to make all the things in that book that I wanted!  My mom had been having good luck with Namaste's Perfect Flour Blend.  So I bought some, and decided to try it in some recipes.  

One of the first one's I tried from Martha's book was the pie crust.  I wanted to make a rustic apple pie.  You know, the kind that's not in a pie pan, but a cookie sheet.  This was just so much easier than I imagined.  I used my food processor and followed directions.  If you roll it out on parchment paper and put plastic wrap over the top as you roll it out, you shouldn't have any problems with it.  Don't forget to flour the parchment.  

Here it is rolled out…

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Ready to go in the oven….

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Pie heaven….

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My apples got a little brown.  I think that could be avoided by putting a little foil right in the middle during baking.  I used butter which I recommend, unless you can't eat dairy.  Also, I used sanding sugar around the edge.  

The crust was Martha's recipe which you can find here.  And the yummy inside was from "The Betty Crocker Cookbook", which you can find here.  Substitute the flour with a gluten free blend.  As I said, I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.  If you use another kind, make sure there is xanthan gum added.  If not, make sure you add some.

I have also tried making a Martha Stewart scone recipe with this flour and they turned out wonderful!  I am anxious to try more regular and gluten free recipes with pre-made flour blends.  It just seems like life would be so much simpler only having one bag of flour!   

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Bread Pudding

I love bread pudding.  I mean L-O-V-E bread pudding.  Before I had to give up gluten, if it was on the menu, I would save room for it!  I think it's the ultimate comfort dessert.  I've tried making it before and it was pretty good for gluten free.  But, I didn't think it would hold up against a fully glutened bread pudding.  

A couple weekends ago, Kati had a friend spend the night.  Knowing the girls would be hungry in the morning, I decided to make muffins for breakfast.  I had a bag of Namaste muffin mix that I'd not tried yet.  On the bag, was a recipe for lemon poppyseed bread.  That sounded really good, but I didn't have poppy seeds and I wanted muffins, so I figured I would follow the recipe and make muffins with it.  

For some reason, the recipe calls for adding extra baking soda when there is already baking soda in the mix.  You know what happens when there's a lot of baking soda in a recipe?  Bubbles.  Not knowing how much was already in the mix, I thought maybe it's would'nt rise too high.  Wrong!

The the batter climbed right up the side of the muffin tin and on top of the tin until the entire top was covered in batter.  Then the muffins sunk in the middle!  They tasted pretty good and we ate a couple of them even though we had to peel parts off the tin to get only bites, not a whole muffin.  

As I was standing in the kitchen thinking of a way to salvage them, an idea came to mind.  Bread pudding!  I quickly found my bread pudding recipe and got to work.  Success!  This bread pudding, I believe, would stand up to a fully gluten filled bread pudding any day.  To make sure it wasn't a fluke, I made the bread and bread pudding again this weekend, just to make sure it would turn out a second time.  This time, I used bread pans.  Make sure you don't over fill the bread pans though, because this batter really rises!  

This recipe is both gluten and casein free.  If you can tolerate dairy, by all means go for it.  I think a splash of cream in the sauce would be quite good.  If you eat gluten, I think you could make this recipe with any lemon flavored muffin mix.  But it's so good gluten free, you won't miss the gluten if you make the recipe as is!  This recipe was originally inspired by a recipe I found in Bon Appetit Magazine.  

Lemon Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce (print recipe)

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(For the bread, you will need two bags of Namaste muffin mix using the recipe for lemon bread on the side of the bag.)  

13 cups of bread, cut into cubes  

1 cup chopped pecans 

4 cups almond milk (unsweetened) or favorite milk substitute

3/4 cup sugar 

6 large eggs 

1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted 

1 teaspoon vanilla (the recipe didn't call for this but I added it) 


Spray the bottom of a 9X13 pan with a no stick spray. Layer the cubed bread with the pecans in the pan. In a bowl, whisk eggs.  Add the milk, sugar, butter and vanilla to the eggs. Mix well. Pour over bread. Let this mixture sit at room temperature in the pan for about and hour until the liquid is absorbed. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. While still warm, serve with Lemon Rum Sauce.   


Lemon Rum Sauce 


1/2 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup light corn syrup 

2 tablespoons butter 

2 tablespoon rum 

2 teaspoons lemon extract 


Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until brown sugar dissolves. Boil 1 minute. Mix in rum and lemon extract. Spoon over hot bread pudding. Enjoy!

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Dinner Party part 2

Do having dinner parties scare you?  They didn't use to me.  I used to have so many short cuts for having people over.  I knew where to buy really good bread that tasted home made.  I knew how to make really good desserts that involved gluten.  If I was having a lot of people over and didn't have a lot of time to cook, I could go to Sam's Club and buy so much pre-made, decent quality food.  


I can't do that now.  Now when I have friends over, it all has to be home made.  That means planning and time.  It also means simple.  I poured over my cookbooks for days.  I wanted to make everything I saw, but when it came down it, I knew I had to choose some simple things.  I decided that most of my time would go into my salad and soup.  Everything else needed to be easy.  This is the menu I choose……

For starters:

Goat Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Rosemary


Soup and Salad:

Fresh Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Caramelized Onion and Roasted Shallot Cream Soup


Main Course:

Roasted Asparagus

Rosemary and Garlic Filet of Beef


The prep for this meal was really easy.  I made the bread the day before.  I could have easily prepared everything for the salad the day before but I didn't have the ingredients yet.  Same thing with the soup.  Actually, it was better the next day as leftovers!  When you are planning a party, think of foods that you can prep the day before to take some of the work load off of you the day of the party.  

Goat Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Rosemary (print recipe)

(From Southern Living Annual Recipes)

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6 dried tomato halves
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 French gf baguette, thinly sliced
olive oil
1 (11 oz log shaped) package goat cheese 


1. Cover tomato with boiling water; let stand 5 minutes.  Drain and chop.  Combine with garlic, oil, and rosemary; cover and chill up to 4 hours.

2.  Brush baguette rounds with additional olive oil.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted.

3.  Just before serving, place goat cheese on a serving plate, and top with tomato mixture.  Serve with baguette rounds, and garnish if desired.  

Yields 8 servings

Cooks notes:  I grilled my baguettes!  Love this recipe!  


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Fresh Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (print recipe)

(From Pampered Chef Spin on Salads)

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Beets

8 medium fresh beets, scrubbed and peeled
1 can (12 oz) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, divided
1 cup water
1 tsp. orange zest

Dressing and Salad

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp snipped fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large oranges, cut into segments
2 sweet onion slices, separated into rings
1 cup lightly packed frisee or endive
4 tbsp crumbled feta cheese



1. For beets, trim greens and root ends and peel. Cut into 1 inch wedges.  Place beets, 1 1/4 cup of the orange juice concentrate (reserve remaining for dressing), water and orange zest in saucepan and bring to boil.  Cover and reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes or until beets are tender.  Drain beets, cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use in salad.  

2.  For dressing, combine remaining 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Slowly add oil, whisking until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  

3. For salad, for each serving, arrange onion rings on serving plate; top with beets, orange segments, frisee and cheese.  Drizzle with dressing.  Sprinkle with black pepper.  

Yields 4 servings

Cooks notes:  I could not find frisee at the grocery so I used a bed of mixed baby greens and layered the other ingredients on top of that.  


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Caramelized Onion and Roasted Shallot Cream Soup (print recipe)

(From The Bon Appetit Cookbook)

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8 servings

16 large shallots, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup cream Sherry, divided
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried sage
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
3 cups whipping cream

3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss shallots with oil in bowl.  Arrange shallots on large rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly.  Bake until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes. 

They will look like this.  Yum.  

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2. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and sugar; cook until onions are deep golden brown, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, about 50 minutes.  

3.  Add whole shallots, 1/2 cup Sherry, and dried herbs to onions.  Cook until almost all liquid evaporate, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add both broths and simmer 25 minutes.  Add cream and simmer until soup thickens, about 10 minutes.  

4.  Add fresh thyme and parsley along with the remaining 1/4 cup of Sherry.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

Cooks notes:  For me, this soup was a tad to sweet and very rich.  When I make it again, I will not add the sugar to the onions and might not use as much Sherry if any (I'm not sure I like Sherry!).  Also, I think it would be just as good with half and half or for those dairy free to use hemp milk in place of the cream.  


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I have no real recipe for the asparagus and filet or pictures!  I just took fresh asparagus, tossed it in some olive oil, salt and pepper, laid it in a roasting pan (one layer) and roasted it at about 400 degrees for about 15- 20 min.  You want the asparagus to still be a nice bright green.  Don't let them get soggy.  Not good!  

For the filets, I marinated them in olive oil, fresh chopped rosemary, crushed garlic and black pepper in a zip lock bag.  I didn't measure any of that.  Just guess!  I grilled the filets on my indoor grill while the asparagus was roasting in the oven.  

We ate the meal in courses.  I love doing it that way.  We snacked on goat cheese while I put the salad together.  The onions for the soup was finishing while we ate the salad.  We talked and laughed.  Then we had soup.  Talked and laughed, drank some wine, then I cooked the main course.  It's just so relaxing to have a meal this way!  How many meals do you make, where you work for hours, or days (Thanksgiving, Christmas), you put all the food out at once, and in 30 minutes it's all over!  I like taking time better.  

And the wine…..like I said in my last post, Steve and I are not knowledgeable about wine.  We just know we like wine!  Maybe you too are a little nervous about picking out the right wine for a meal.  Do what we did.  Ask around your town and find a liquor store where there is someone who does know what's good.  Ask for their recommendations.  Tell them what you are serving.  I did just that.  I knew I needed a white wine for the salad and soup and a red wine for the main course.  The man at our local store recommended a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2007.  I'm not a big fan of white wine, but this was really good.  He did not steer us wrong.  Now I am a big fan of red wine.  He told us about one he had tasted the week before and he thought it was so good that he would put it up against any expensive bottle of wine.  It was Ghost Pines Merlot 2005.  I love, loved it.  I would serve this again to company.  

I almost forgot dessert!  This dessert is an easy one to make on the spot.  My mom used to make it when we were kids on Christmas eve after coming home from my Grandmother's house.  It's a throwback to the 1970's

Cherry&#3
9;s Jubilee
(print recipe)

2 15 oz cans of Bing cherries

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup brandy

Heat the cherries in a skillet.  Add the sugar and cinnamon.  Mix the water and cornstarch in a small cup, then add to the cherry mixture.  Cook until thick and bubbly.  Add the brandy but do not mix in.  Light it with a match and watch it flame!  Then mix well.  Kids love this!  

Check back in a couple days.  I will have a recipe for some gfcf cookies and a story about Mia, the cookies, and the doggie er.  Yes, she's ok now.  

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Filed under Beef, Desserts, Entertaining, Salads, Soup

Crock pot Sunday

For the last couple weeks, my mom has been coming over on Sundays to work on her scrap book.  I have a whole entire room devoted to scrap booking and crafts.  You can see what we've been working on here at my Gluti Girl Stamps blog.  We have been having so much fun working on this.  It's nice to have something you can do together.   

I have not wanted to spend the whole day in the kitchen when she comes, so I've been firing up the old crock pot the last couple weeks.  I get the whole meal ready by noon and then we have all day to play and have fun.  I told the kids (both of mind and there respective "others"), if they are hungry, stop by, the crock pots full!  Last night I had three kids show up even after we were done eating.  It was really great to have a seemingly never ending bowl of something to feed them.   

I'm really using that new cookbook a lot.  Last weekend, I put one of Carol's recipes in the crock pot and a bread recipe in the bread machine.  This week, I had to make her pie crust.  She claimed you could make a two crust pie, and I had to try it.  By golly, it worked!  Real pie. It tasted like real pie!  I am super hopeful for the holidays with this crust.  Last year, I had a pie fiasco.  I don't even want to talk about it, it was that bad.I had tried making pie crust from Bette Hagman's book.  It turned out really well on practice day.  But when I made it Thanksgiving week, It just wouldn't go together right.    This year, I am very hopeful!  I feel confident enough to offer to bring pies to our Thanksgiving meal.  But, I will give it another trial run before Thanksgiving week!  Just to make sure!  
 I'm not sure if it's cool to post other people recipes from cookbooks, so I won't.  But here's my pie.


I ate two pieces!  I did get on the elliptical this morning 🙂
For dinner I made my version of…… 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

1 large onion, chopped 

1/2 green pepper, chopped 

1- 4 oz. can chopped green chilis 

1- 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes 

1- 15 oz. can tomato sauce 

2 -15 oz. can black beans (I only had one can myself and this soup really needs two) 

32 oz. chicken broth  

1 clove chopped garlic 

1/4 teaspoon chili powder 

1 Tablespoon dried parsly 

One whole chicken cooked, de-boned and chopped 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Place all the above ingredients in the crock pot.  Turn to high and cook at least 5 to 6 hours. Makes about 7 or 8 servings.  
If you don't want to cook a whole chicken, you can use chicken tenders or what ever parts of boneless chicken you like.  Just brown the chicken in a skillet before adding to the crock pot.  

I like to buy several whole chickens at a time, bake them, take the meat off the bone and then freeze the meat.  Then I can pull it out for what ever casseroles or soups I need to make.  
What really makes this soup fun and good are the toppings.  We like to use: 

Tortilla chips 

Sour cream 

avocado
chopped 

onion 

shredded cheddar cheese


Happy election day everyone.  Don't forget to vote!

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More Birthdays and Cheesecake

Spring is on it's way. The sun is out and there is just this feeling in the air. It was only 27 degrees here yesterday. Today it's not as cold, maybe in the 30's. But there something in the way the sky looks and the way the air smells. Maybe it's daylight savings time messing with my head. 

Twenty two years ago today, (and it was a Sunday also) it was a beautiful day. It was one of the first warm days we had for while. How do I remember this? I was in labor. I was two weeks over due. I was so ready to have that baby but kind of bummed I didn't get to be outside on that beautiful day! But I got a wonderful son!
He is not a member of the gluti club. Yet anyway. 

I still have my doubts. His blood test was negative. A lifetime picky eater, always in the lowest weight percentile as a child and still extremely thin. To top it all off, he has an autoimmune thyroid condition and takes thyroid pills. All of which is common with celiac disease. But for now, he's not a member yet.
He wanted a cheese cake for his birthday cake. A lime cheese cake. So with some modifications of my last cheese cake recipe I came up with this. 

Bryan's Cheesecake 

Crust 

1/3 cup whole almonds 
2/3 cup gluten free ginger snap crumbs 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 

Filling 

3 8-oz. packaged of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature 
1 1/3 cup sugar 
4 large eggs, room temperature 
Zest of one whole lime 
Juice of one whole lime 
1/4 teaspoon salt

 For crust: 

Finely grind almonds in processor. Add cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter; process until clumps form. Press into bottom of a 9 inch diameter spring-form pan with 2 3/4 inch sides. Refrigerate 30 minutes. 

For Filling: 

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese and next 5 ingredients in mixer or processor just until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times.
Pour filling over crust. Bake until edges of cheesecake are puffed and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen. Refrigerate cake uncovered overnight. 

Blueberry lime topping 

2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries 
1/2 cup water 
1/2 cup sugar 
Juice of one whole lime 
zest of one whole lime 
1 Tablespoon cornstarch 

Mix together berries, water, sugar, zest and lime juice. Boil for about 1 minute. Mix cornstarch with about a tablespoon of water to it and mix till the lumps are gone. Add it to the berries mixture and cook till thick. Cool and serve over cheesecake.

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Menu Monday for the week of January 27, 2008

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday 


It's time to bite the bullet. I have been caving on our New Years healthy eating plan. Gosh, it's everyone making those darn crescent rolls!
I need a better plan. I am starting the South Beach diet. Honestly, I don't know if I can do phase one. So I may end up with something between phase one and phase two. I don't have that much weight to loose anyway so going without phase one is not that big a deal. 

I've been using some of the recipes all along so why not just be on the whole diet.
I found a really great blog with tons of South Beach resources
here. So many of the recipes are already gluten free, but there are some here and there that would have to be converted.
The one thing I will not be doing from the South Beach diet is using artificial sweeteners. I don't like them and would just prefer to do without. I also won't use fat free replacements for foods. There are just too many chemicals and fake ingredients in them. I would rather eat as pure a food as possible. 

Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy is the host for Menu Swap this week.  The ingredient of the week is vanilla.  She has a lot of interesting facts about vanilla.  My favorite vanilla is bourbon vanilla from Trader Joe's.  There is no bourbon in the vanilla.  It's just a particular type of vanilla and it's really wonderful! 

This weeks menu, with the exception of one of the days, will be South Beach diet friendly. The one that is not South Beach friendly was from over the weekend. We had company and I made cheesecake. I have to include it because the whole meal would be a great super bowl party supper. I know a lot of you are planning for that. 

Weekend company meal- (See recipes below) 

Taco soup, veggies and dip, cheesecake 

Monday- Chicken Parmesan, Broccoli, Salad 
Tuesday- Flank steak, mashed cauliflower, green beans with almonds 
Wednesday- Fish with Caesar glaze, roasted veggies, salad 
Thursday- Indian Chicken, roasted sweet potatoes (I know it's phase two food), salad 
Friday- Balsamic salmon, roasted veggies, slaw 

I did not get a picture of my taco soup. I had company. They were friends of my husband's from when he was young. I did not know any of them and would have felt rather silly whipping out my camera and taking pictures of my food! But trust me, this is yummy soup. It's great to make for company because everyone likes it and it so quick and easy to make for a large or small group of people. I served it last year on super bowl Sunday when the Colts won. This year we will be eating something different and cheering for a different Manning. 

Taco Soup 

2 pounds ground beef (or you could use turkey) 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 can 28 oz. tomatoes (I use crushed tomatoes) 
1 can 15 oz. tomato sauce 
1 cup water 
1 can 15 oz. pinto beans, drained and rinsed 
1 can 14 oz. corn, drained 
1 package of gluten free taco seasoning (I used Old El paso) 

In your favorite soup pot, cook ground beef and onions. Drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least an hour on low heat. Serve with your favorite toppings. We use cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, fresh chopped cilantro and corn chips.
One recipe will easily feed six people. I doubled the recipe and fed eleven people and still have plenty of leftovers. 

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I think this cheesecake is one of the best I've made. I found the recipe in The Bon Appetit Cookbook. I have found I love to make cheesecake for dessert because it's so easy to make gluten free. I have some helpful hints in making cheesecake.

  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature
  • When you are ready to bake your cheesecake, place a pan of water in the oven on the rack just under your cake. The steam from the water will help keep it from cracking while baking.
  • If you want nice edges on your cheesecake when you cut it, use a sharp, wet knife. Wash it off with each cut but don't dry it.
  • Cheesecake is best eaten at 2:00 in the afternoon with a huge cup of coffee or at about midnight when everyone is sleeping 🙂
  • Leftover cheesecake freezes really well. There is a piece in the freezer right now with my mom's name on it. Won't she be happy!

 


Triple Cherry Cheesecake 

Topping 

3/4 cup dried tart cherries 
1 1-pound bag frozen pitted Bing cherries, thawed, drained, juice reserved 
1/2 cup cherry jam 
2 tablespoon brandy 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 

Crust 

1/3 cup whole almonds 
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used Jo-sef brand gluten free. You could use any gluten free cookie.)
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 

Filling 

3 8-oz. packaged of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature 
1 1/3 cup sugar 
4 large eggs, room temperature 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
1/4 teaspoon salt 

For topping: Combine dried cherries and reserved juice from thawed cherries in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 20 minutes.
Mix cherry jam, brandy, and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Stir into dried cherry mixture. Add thawed cherries. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold. 

For crust: Finely grind almonds in processor. Add cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter; process until clumps form. Press into bottom of a 9 inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch sides. Refrigerate 30 minutes. 

For Filling: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese and next 5 ingredients in mixer or processor just until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times.
Pour filling over crust. Bake until edges of cheesecake are puffed and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen. Refrigerate cake uncovered overnight.
Serve with cherry topping spooned over top. I won't tell anyone if you sneak some at midnight!

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Filed under Beef, Desserts, Menu Monday, Soup

Bread Pudding


There were several things that stressed me when the doctor told me I couldn't eat gluten any more. For one thing I just loved bread. Most of my favorite foods involved gluten in some way. Growing up if you asked what my favorite meal was I would have said fried chicken, green bean casserole and corn on the cob. Thanks to Gluten Free Mommy with her green
bean casserole recipe, which by the way is wonderful, I have been able to recreate that dish with no problem. 


I haven't attempted fried chicken yet. I also miss Chinese take out, being able to order french onion soup when we go out to dinner. And, bread pudding. There are a couple restaurants we go to only once a year that make killer bread puddings. Beside soy sauce, and fried chicken it was one of the first things I thought about as I learned of all the foods I would no longer be able to enjoy unless I found a way to make them gluten free. 

For Thanksgiving I made a huge loaf of bread with a recipe I got off of the Delphi Forums for New York Times Bread. It makes a really dense, crusty loaf of bread. I had some left over and it was starting to get stale. Not wanting to waste it I decided to try and make some bread pudding. I found this recipe at Bon Appetit and just couldn't wait to try it. It was wonderful! Real comfort food. The gooey melted chocolate was to die for! I may not be able to go out to eat and enjoy my favorite dessert there, but I know I can make it at home just as well. Enjoy your leftover bread! 

Bread Pudding with warm Praline sauce 

1 pound load of bread (about 13 cups) crusts removed and cut into cubes 
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 
1 cup chopped pecans 
4 cups whole milk 
1 1/2 cup sugar 
6 large eggs 
1/2 cup butter melted 
1 teaspoon vanilla (the recipe didn't call for this but I added it) 

Spray the bottom of a 9X13 pan with a no stick spray. Layer the cubed bread with the chocolate chips and pecans in the pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs. To the eggs add the milk, sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over bread. Let this mixture sit at room temperature in the pan for about and hour until the liquid is absorbed, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the liquid. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and 10 minutes. Serve while still warm with praline sauce and a little ice cream on the side! 

Praline Sauce 

1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/4 cup light corn syrup 
2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons brandy 
2 cinnamon sticks 
1 tablespoon rum 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/3 cup chopped pecans 

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, brandy, cinnamon sticks, rum, vanilla extract, and nutmeg in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until brown sugar dissolves. Boil 1 minute. Mix in pecans. Spoon over hot bread pudding. Enjoy!

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