When my overindulgent gene kicks in, and I’m listing things that sound good in a dessert together, my husband just looks at me with his amused face.
I’m very familiar with that look and I get it a lot. That amused face has many different undertones.
Amused might sometimes lean towards the annoyed when I’m pointing out that I always win the great subconscious cover fight when we sleep, but that it isn’t – and never has been, my intention to wind up with them all come daylight. It’s the look I get when he walks in on me watching a Youtube video on how to boil an egg, and all right, on that day, I may have gotten more than an amused look. And that particular amused look is reserved for those moments when he’s just about to start poking fun at me.
But that look I get when I suggest putting a brownie at the bottom of the bowl, topping it off with a scoop of ice cream, adding peanut M and M’s and Reeses PB cups and then drowning it in chocolate syrup and covering it in whipped cream? That amused look means, “My goodness, aren’t we feeling American today?”
(I know, I know, this still doesn’t look like too much, right? Just give me the rest of the blog article. I promise.)
Let’s call it a day in the life of a cross-cultural relationship.
The day you smell something funny and discover that your boyfriend has slathered a burn in Dijon mustard. Or that he’s dabbing your son’s face in chamomile tea because his skin is dry. That kind of thing where my amused (bemused?) face actually means, “My goodness, aren’t we feeling Mexican today?”
Back to the food. You see, I’m not as used to sweet on top of sweet on top of sweet as I used to be. I tried a sauce to use as a condiment last week, and followed the recipe to a T…only to have to test myself for diabetes after I had used it.
Because yes, many of us in America eat extremely well. But many of us also enjoy that night where you treat yourself to extreme indulgence in the form of food frenzy. Am I right? At least partially? Hey, I’m proud of it…I think indulgence lends well to creativity and seeing what the mind can do with new combinations.
My entire family swoons at the thought of bacon wrapped marshmallows…Overindulgence. Puppy dog tails? Only the most delicious invention ever-the INSIDES of cinnamon buns and a self-serve frosting station?! Overindulgence. Spaghetti grilled cheese sandwiches? Overindulgence?
Well, I have one thing to say. Yum. Yum in moderation, but yum just the same.
So, I had this loaf of French Spice Cake that I knew I wanted to use as bread pudding. Because bread pudding alone is delicious.
Bread pudding that has been injected with honey and orange and might caramelize slightly on the top? Overindulgence my friends. Spice Cake Bread Pudding with Pears and a Butter Brandy Sauce?
It’s bread pudding on crack!
This dessert is not for the faint of heart. But it will calm any and all desire for things like wishing for heaven on earth, waking up with sunshine warming your face, cute kittens licking your nose at appropriate moments of the day (not four a.m. or times most normal cats decide they want to cuddle), spending the day in pjs and watching the rain splat against the windowpanes and then trickle down out of site, and quenching your need for dessert almost immediately.
That’s quite the build-up for this dessert. So I hope you like it.
I sufficiently changed enough of the ingredients in this recipe to call it my own based on most rules of etiquette out there, but I’d still like to thank Hungry Poodle for the inspiration for this recipe.
This recipe assumes you’ve made your very own French Spice Cake, but a store-bought version for those of you living in parts of Europe where that is possible would save a lot of time and any gingerbread cake recipe would probably do just fine for those of you living elsewhere across the globe!
The sauce? You can use bourbon or cognac if you don’t have brandy.
And I would serve this with a dollop of crème fraiche, cream, or sweetened sour cream.
So, a very bon appétit to you my friends!
- Bread Pudding:
- 2 T. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 4.5 cups French Spice Cake or gingerbread, cut into ½ ” cubes and toasted in the oven or dried
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 egg whites
- 1 egg
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 1 pear, sliced and cut into chunks
- Brandy Sauce:
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 T. butter
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup brandy
- Bread Pudding:
- Preheat your oven to 350° and use the butter to grease your pan.
- Put your dried/toasted bread cubes, pear, and cranberries in a bowl.
- Then preheat the milk in a small saucepan. Stir and do not let boil. When you see tiny bubbles start to form at the edges, pour it over the bread.
- Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites, and egg. Then pour it into the slightly cooled bread mixture, stirring as you pour.
- Add the mixture to the pan and top with chopped almonds.
- Brandy Sauce:
- Heat the butter, sugar and egg on low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. If you take a spoonful of the sauce, it should slowly drizzle back to the saucepan and leave a coating on the spoon. This should take 3-5 minutes.