Happy belated Valentine's Day! I hope that you were showered with love, or at least with chocolate, this weekend.
Steve and I drove to Miami's Design District on Saturday night. We rarely go out on Valentine's Day because that usually involves an over-priced prix fixe menu and crowds. This year, though, we got out of the house and made the drive to Sra. Martinez, Michelle Bernstein's new tapas restaurant.
I am no restaurant reviewer, so I won't drag you into a detailed analysis of the meal. I will just tell you that Steve and I loved it, from the crisp pork belly with fennel-orange marmalade to the Greek yogurt ice cream with sweet tomato marmalade and basil syrup. It reminded us that Miami is not such a long drive from Fort Lauderdale, and piqued my curiosity about what other interesting discoveries we could make in the Design District (a sentiment I felt again as we walked past Marni, with its mortgage-payment dresses, on the way back to our car).
*sigh* I will always be Fort Lauderdale, never Miami. That dress will have to stay where I saw it. At least so that we can pay our mortgage.
Michelle Bernstein published her first cookbook, Cuisine a Latina, last year. The dessert chapter of this cookbook is entitled, "The Shortest Dessert Chapter Ever." With only one recipe, it is indeed the shortest ever. The recipe is for Michy's bread pudding sounds excellent. I'll have to make it someday. For now, however, I created my own bread pudding recipe.
Last week, I promised you bread pudding with chocolate and bourbon caramel sauce. Today is delivery day.
Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Bourbon Caramel
A Fritter Original
For the bread pudding
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons), melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes
3 cups of day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup of broken semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
For the bourbon caramel
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/4 teaspoon for cinnamon whipped cream
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus 1/2 cup for whipped cream
1/8 cup Kentucky bourbon
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, ground coriander, orange zest, and salt until well-combined. Once the butter has cooled, whisk it into the bowl in 1/4 cup amounts. It is very important to do this slowly, so that the eggs do not cook.
Place the bread cubes in a separate bowl and pour the cream mixture over them. Gently toss until the bread is well-coated, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
After the bread has chilled for an hour, remove it and toss again, ensuring that every surface of the bread has been covered with the cream mixture. The bread should be soaked at this point, but not falling apart.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a loaf pan and add half of the bread to the bottom. Scatter half of the chocolate pieces over the bread, then cover with the remaining half of the bread. Scatter the remaining chocolate pieces on top, then crumble the brown sugar over the surface. Bake for 25 minutes, until the bread pudding is golden on top and bubbly.
While the bread pudding is baking, make the bourbon caramel. In a small saucepan, heat the butter until the froth begins to fade and the edges of the liquid start to turn gold. Stir in the water, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, then continue to cook until the liquids have reduced almost completely to a thick film on the bottom of the pan, about 6 minutes. Add the 1/8 cup of heavy cream and stir, then cook until the juice is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the bourbon. Allow the skillet to rest for 1-2 minutes, which will allow the alcohol to evaporate.
Serve the bread pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven with 1/4 cup of bourbon caramel sauce and, if you wish, a scoop of ice cream.