We learned how to make a creme brulee, chocolate pudding, and a bread pudding. I would've much preferred making a creme caramel, a flan, or a pots de creme since I like to eat those the most, it was fun using a torch for the first time. Yeah!
The creme brulee was fine. But I'm not a good judge of creme brulee because I don't like it much. it's too heavy for me, and it always has been. The one made in class was no exception. Plus, burnt sugar crusts are very take it or leave it for me. I like cracking them and they're really fun to make (can't go wrong with a blow torch) but I can do without eating them.
But the bread pudding. OMG. This was the best bread pudding I've ever had. It was the solid type that you can cut up into squares and package, not the spooning type. It's made with Challah bread. Ever since I discovered Challah a few years ago (late in life I know, but Hawaii doesn't exactly have a large Jewish influence) it has turned into one of my favorite breads. It's great on it's own, it tastes great with creamy cheeses like Camembert, it makes the best french toast (much better than Brioche, trust me), and now I know that it's the best bread for bread pudding!
It's moist, sweet without being overtly so, and the texture--so yummy! I used raisins soaked in Grand Marnier and they definitely made a huge difference. No nuts though. I don't like it when crunchy textures mix with soft textures so I left them out. I can't wait to practice making this one. Although I might eat the whole thing in one sitting...
The most important thing to remember with this is to let the bread soak up all of the egg/milk/sugar mixture before putting it into the oven, and then as hard as it may be, let the pudding rest overnight in the fridge. All the flavors will really meld together that way. If you can hold off for two days, that's even better. Trust me on this. And while it's good warm, I really like it cold. Leave it out for about 5-10 minutes after pulling it from the fridge and it becomes nice and soft but still chilled. It's the best.
I know it doesn't look amazing, but I promise you that it is! Salivate...