Friday, December 18, 2009

Bread Pudding Mini Cakes

For my sixth installment of '12 Days of Christmas Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!' post I decided it would be fun to make some treats for all my little elves, or should I say my neighbors. Spread the love is my theme!

When I return home from a busy day our group of condo elves residents gather in the parking lot to say hello. I love my neighbors! They are all so friendly, and we all help each other out when needed. We send cards if someone is sick, or order flowers for a hospital visit.

Who would not want to make up some goodies for them?

One neighbor in particular, Bea,  asked me why she has not benefited from my cooking like in the past, especially my crab cakes. I explained that I took off for almost three months to travel. My clients mom was in town from India, so they were traveling and no cooking was needed. School was in a transition by bringing in a consultant, so classes were not scheduled for a few months.

I needed to hit the road and refresh my state of mind.

Finding myself ashamed when confronted, because I do love trying out recipes on them. With the Christmas holiday coming up, well it was time to spread the sweet love. I would make them all chocolate truffles, and maybe some mini bundt cakes.

Playing with some ginger caramelized cranberry-white chocolate walnut rolls the week before I found myself with lots of bread, and a traveling hubby who was not around to help eat them. So, I decided to make bread pudding, and maybe freeze a few. They worked so well in my new ramekins, and I noticed they had such a nice crust and came out easily. The inside was bread pudding gooey wonderful! They look like small cakes, and wrapped well for the freezer and gifts.

Searching around the internet for recipes, I made a batch of chocolate ganache; rolling them into balls, and then rolled them in cocoa goji berry powder I have hanging around in the 'magic' pantry. Yes, Alexis!

What a mess. I had never made truffles before, and no I did not have fun with the chocolate cleanup. No photos of that pretty picture. There will be a next time, because chocolate rocks my world, okay I had fun eating the 'extra' not so pretty truffles.

Placing two truffles on top of the cakes, and letting them melt gave them a nice touch. A few cranberries here and there along with truffles for added color. Wrapped up and delivered!

 Knock knock... Who's there? It's me neighbor, and I have some treats for you!

HINT: I tried something fun...I took cranberries and cut them in half (yeah I know, extra work, but whole ones do not work). Spread on a silmat or parchment and sprinkle with grated ginger and sugar. Slow roast on the top oven shelf until they begin to wilt. Let cool, and add to your favorite yeast bread recipe, along with white chocolate pieces. 

Easy Bread Pudding Recipe

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup raw sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups bread (or rolls, and mine just crumbled), torn into small pieces

Warm the cream in a sauce pan, but do not scald; add sugar and disolve; add butter; remove from heat and let sit for five minutes; whisk (temper if necessary) in eggs and vanilla; pour over bread. After fifteen minutes pour into ramekins, and bake until browns. Let cool enough to remove from ramekins, and melt chocolate over the top. These would also be good with a powder sugar glaze.

I am not a big fan of bread pudding like hubby, but I have to say this crunchy cake was actually yummy!

Oh, and btw Santa, I promise to have one waiting for you Christmas eve...