Day-old bread gets its due in these playful approaches to bread pudding, a homey favorite now enjoying a comeback as a dessert-menu regular.
This article first appeared in the 1 December 2007 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
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By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor
Tempura-Dipped Bread Pudding (picture above)
Oakland University, Rochester, Mich. (Chartwells Dining Services). Bread pudding flavored with white chocolate, chamomile tea and Jamaican red bananas is chilled, cut into squares and dipped in tempura batter for deep frying in Chef Gerald Gatto's inventive approach. The crisp, golden pieces are paired with macadamia-nut butter and mango marmalade for dipping.
Bread Pudding with Vanilla-Brandy Sauce
Breeze, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles. In the hotel's nearly 40-year-old recipe, cinnamon-raisin Danish often stands in for sliced baguette. Vanilla beans, nutmeg and golden raisins further distinguish this classic bread pudding, which is baked in a water bath.
Double-Chocolate Bread Pudding
Red Fish Grill, New Orleans. Crusty French bread is the foundation for this signature recipe at Ralph Brennan's splashy seafood spot. Semisweet chocolate melted into the standard mixture of heavy cream, milk, sugar and eggs makes for an especially rich rendition, as do sprinkled granulated sugar and two types of chocolate sauce poured over the top.
Bread Pudding Pancakes
Southport Grocery, Chicago. To make this sweet breakfast treat, Chef-owner Lisa Santos folds flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a base of firm white bread soaked in milk. Eggs and vegetable oil complete the batter for these moist-on-the-inside, golden-brown-on-the-outside pancakes that are topped with cinnamon-sugar butter and vanilla-custard sauce.