I’m sorry, but I have never been a passionate lover of white bread, not even of French baguettes. Too plain, too boring, too….vanilla.
Look, it seems so sad and pathetic, just being there….
Like you know may (or may not) agree, vanilla is the most basic of all ice cream flavors and I tend to never enjoy it alone. It must be accompanied by something with substance and strong character. Like a dark amber caramel or an irresistible warm and moist brownie. Something with punch! BANG!
Same with white bread. I just can not enjoy it on its own. I don’t even love to use it in sandwiches. But give me a hearty and rustic loaf of whole wheat or multigrain and I will attack it like there is no tomorrow.
I know, I know…You may be thinking, but a French baguette has such a crisp and crunchy crust and such a soft and delicate center. How can you not be into it?? What is wrong with you!?!?!?!111
But the sad truth is that I’d rather use a French baguette as a baseball bat and aim for a home run or even first base if I’m ever forced to eat it by itself. Being on any of those positions on the field would be waaaaaay more exciting than to munch on a white loaf of bread or a French baguette.
Enough with the severe criticism of the poor French baguette. It does have a lot of potential after all. In fact, it can turn into something magical!
I present to you the one and only coconut bread pudding for 2 with coconut caramel sauce…Made with the one and only French baguette, of course.
(I based this recipe on the basic custard ratio: 1 egg: 1/2 C dairy and went from there).
* Yield: 2 individual servings *
Ingredients for the Bread Pudding:
1 1/4 C coconut milk
3/4 C milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
(1/4 tsp coconut extract)–>this ingredient is optional. I didn’t add it but I believe that it would make a nice addition to enhance the coconut flavor. I simply didn’t have any and I didn’t like the “Imitation Coconut Flavor” that I found at the store, so I didn’t buy it.
5 T sugar
pinch of salt
1 C of shredded sweetened coconut
about half of a french baguette, stale and cubed (about 2.5 oz in weight)
Ingredients for the Coconut Caramel:
1/2 C sugar
1 T water
1/4 C cream
1/4 C coconut milk
vanilla to taste
coconut extract to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
lemon juice to taste
salt to taste
Procedure/Recipe for Bread Pudding:
- Grease two ramekins with butter.
- Arrange pieces of bread in ramekins so that they are both filled all the way up.
- Spread sweetened coconut on a sheet tray and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes until coconut is toasted and has a nice golden brown color. Be sure to rotate the tray midway baking time.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of coconut over bread and spread it so that there is coconut all throughout the bread: on the top, in the middle, and on the bottom. Reserve the left over toasted coconut for later use.
- Make custard by combining eggs, coconut milk, milk, vanilla, coconut extract, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisking everything together. Strain custard into another bowl to remove the eggs’ chalazae.
- Pour custard over bread and wait for bread to absorb the custard. Repeat pouring until bread is completely saturated and it doesn’t seem to absorb anymore custard.
- Allow bread to rest for about 15 minutes until bread absorbs custard.
- Pour more custard over the bread but only do this if the bread looks dry and if it has absorbed all the custard.
- Bake at 300 F – 325 for about 1 hour, until a toothpick that has been inserted in the bread pudding comes out clean.
- Sprinkle some of the reserved toasted coconut over the top and drizzle coconut caramel over the bread and coconut. Serve warm.
Procedure/Recipe for Caramel Sauce:
- Combine water and sugar in a pot and cook over medium heat until sugar reaches a a nice golden brown.
- Stir sugar to make sure that it cooks evenly and remove from heat when it reaches a dark amber color.
- Stir in the coconut milk and the heavy cream and whisk.
- Add salt, vanilla, coconut extract, and lemon juice to taste. This is really just to taste. You’re trying to create a balance and achieve the correct amount of sweetness, saltiness, acidity, and bitterness. Stir well to combine.
- Allow it to cool down before serving.
Warm, moist, coconutty, sweet, rich! There is smoothness from the bread and just the right amount of crunchiness from the toasted coconut.
This recipe yields two individual servings of bread pudding. I do want company at the moment to enjoy this dessert with me. On the brighter side, how fortunate am I that I at least get to devour both servings all by myself!
Once again, YUMMYYYYYYYYYY!!!