“Sister to the bread & butter
And cousin to custard caramel,
Despite a few follies
This dessert turned out swell!
Pay no attention to looks
For taste is not skin deep,
The emotions that come with a bite
Make you want to weep.
For that is how good
Simplicity can taste,
Bread, milk, sugar-the basics
And not a morsel will go waste.”
2 slices of brown bread, torn into small pieces
1 tablespoon raisins or dried cranberries
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoon fine brown sugar (to make burnt sugar - see below)
Bread + Milk + Sugar = One Great Pudding!
Grease a brownie/baking dish and keep aside.
Mix the bread, cranberries/raisins, 1 teaspoon sugar, milk & coconut milk and bring to simmer over medium heat. Once the mixture begins to thicken, turn off heat and cool.
Burnt Sugar : Heat 2 tablespoons of sugar in a non-stick pan till it melts and begins to caramelize. You will see the sugar fume and start to bubble, with a slight burnt fragrance. At this stage remove the sugar quickly from the heat, and pour into the baking dish. The caramelized sugar will set fast so make sure this is done rather swiftly. (If you made extra burnt sugar, you can store it for use later. Just cool it on a cookie tray, break into pieces & store in an airtight container. It gives a delicious flavor to most milk based puddings!)
Now put the bread mixture on top of this, and bake for at 300 F for 25-30 minutes, or till the top begins to brown. Remove from the oven and put straight into the fridge/freezer to cool completely.
Now here’s the challenge. Once cooled, you should be able to invert it on a plate such that it looks like a caramel layered pudding. Mine (sadly) broke while trying to remove it from the pan. But you can't be a creative cook and worry about less-than-perfect results, so in the end I simply mixed it up, scraping the bottoms so all the caramel gets incorporated, and served it in little bowls. The result – delicious! Some of the caramel mixed with the pudding while baking, giving it a deep flavor, while the other bits added quite a crunch.
Tastes better than it looks, completely butter free and rather easy to make! [Update] : I made this pudding - with figs instead of cranberries - for an event and it was a big hit! Instead of baking and trying to relentlessly invert the minis, I simply layered the bread pudding with some crushed burnt caramel and stuck in the fridge for a bit. It tasted just as great. And looked oh-so-cute!