1 (8-ounce) loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons cognac
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Orange rind strips (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Spread softened butter evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan, and sprinkle with brown sugar and walnuts. Set prepared pan aside.
Combine milk and bread in a large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, occasionally pressing on bread to soak up milk. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt, and eggs; stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute or until bread cubes break apart. Stir in raisins, cognac, and 1/2 teaspoon grated rind. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Place pan in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake pan from water. Let stand 5 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter.
Sift 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over pudding. Holding a kitchen blowtorch about 3 inches from surface of pudding, heat sugar, moving torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute). Serve warm. Garnish with orange rind strips, if desired.
It is ridiculous how good this bread pudding is. I served it at brunch and people, including me, were AMAZED. I doubled the recipe, used whole wheat sandwich bread, used half brown sugar and half white sugar, and substituted whiskey for cognac. So good. Best bread pudding recipe I have ever come across. Convinced my friends that I am a stellar cook (ha!).
This was very good. I am not a huge bread pudding fan but I liked this recipe a lot. I thought the consistency was perfect--not too wet and not too dry!
My husband really liked this recipe, as well. He had 2 servings.
I changed a few ingredients. I substituted dried mixed berries for the raisins and Grand Marnier for the Cognac. I also added 1/4 cup white chocolate chips with the dried fruit.
I used a 9 inch round pan instead of 8 inch. I'm not sure it would have fit in an 8 inch pan.
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