Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bread Pudding with Warm Amaretto Sauce

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt had simple tastes in food, favoring "hearty American fare".  A favorite dessert was bread pudding.
I had my first taste of bread pudding just last year.  Not being a big bread eater, the whole idea just never appealed to me.  Then, last year, someone offered me bread pudding swimming in warm amaretto sauce.  I couldn't imagine anything that wouldn't be delicious when suspended in warm amaretto sauce, so I tried it. 
My first bite was accompanied by a cacophony of mixed emotions.  On the one hand, I was thrilled. I couldn't imagine anything tasting this good that didn't include chocolate.  On the other hand, I knew I'd opened a Pandora's box.  I'd never be able to forget that taste.
Research revealed a plethora of recipes.  Giada's got one.  I didn't choose it.  Something inside me can't trust dessert to a size 0.  I read alot of recipes and did a lot of tweaking, and this is what I ended up with.  If you've never tried it before...don't say I didn't warn you.

What's In It:
1 loaf day-old French bread
1 qt. half & half
3 eggs (Thank you Sylvia, Cleo, Pat,  and Lucy!)
2 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tbs. almond extract (No imitation)
3/4 c. raisins (Use whatever raisins you have on hand, all are good.  If you are purchasing raisins just for this pudding, though, golden is recommended.)
3/4 c. sliced almonds

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 c. confectioner's sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 tbs. Amaretto liqueur (May use 2 tbs. almond extract, if you prefer)

How To Make It:
In small saute pan, toast almonds until golden, set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease 9x13 baking dish with butter. (You may use baking spray if you prefer)
Tear bread into irregular, small pieces and place in medium bowl.
Pour 1/2 & 1/2 over bread.
Cover bowl and let stand at least 1 hour.
Stir in raisins and almonds.
In small bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and almond extract, mixing well.
Pour over bread, stirring until well incorporated.
Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, distributing evenly.
Cook 50 minutes, until golden.

Stir butter and sugar together in top of double boiler until both are dissolved.(Mixture will be very hot)
Remove from heat and whisk in beaten egg until sauce cools.
Add Amaretto.

Cut warm pudding into squares.  
Pour sauce over individual serving.
Serve warm.

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