“No, you got it wrong.” Suzen said. “Again.”
“Suzen, the recipe you gave me said sweet potatoes. I wrote the blog based on that.”
“Change it, Sweetie.”
So I am. This wonderful, wonderful dessert is made with pumpkin, not sweet potatoes. Point of full disclosure: one of us at Cooking by the Book did make it with sweet potatoes and it was fine, but it was not the same as pumpkin. So, being obedient to my wife, make this first with pumpkin.
I know that the term bread pudding can generate a cringe. But, trust me, this bread pudding is great. The recipe below suggest raisin bread, but homemade challah is very, very much better.
My suggestion here is to double down on the Hard Sauce, just ladle it on and relish in the cornucopia of rich sweet flavor. You should pour it over the bread pudding, not into your mouth. Suzen got me trying, dribbling on my shirt again, and I was chastised.
On her first bite of this treat, Suzen said, “Oh, my God.” She’s okay with dessert, but is not a fanatic. This recipe is on her “Do Not Make” list, which mean I’ll have to beg and do work and things before we can both enjoy this. She and I would wolf it down by the bowlful.
You very well might consider this as dessert for a Sunday or holiday meal. Yes, you’ve had bread with your turkey stuffing. But, what if you went with rice for the stuffing and saved the bread for the whiskey? Just consider the possibility. And, you might just want to do a test run, too.
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Whiskey Hard Sauce
Yield: 10 servings
For the sauce:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon best-quality bourbon or rye
- pinch of salt
For the bread pudding:
- 8 cups torn or cubed stale raisin bread (about 1 large loaf)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon mace
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin [the pie stuff]
To make the sauce, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, liquor and salt. Continue mixing until smooth and creamy. Cover and set aside.
For the bread pudding, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish or individual ramekins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl toss together the raisin bread with the pecans, then set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and salt. Toss the sugar mixture over the bread and pecans, then stir well. Drizzle everything with the melted butter, then toss to evenly distribute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, cream, eggs and brown sugar. Add the vanilla and sweet potatoes, then mix well. Pour the sweet potato-cream mixture over the bread mixture and stir until well blended. Let stand for about 5 minutes, then spoon into the prepared baking dish or ramekins.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (bake ramekins for just 15 to 20 minutes), or until set.
As soon as the bread pudding comes out of the oven, top with hard sauce so that it melts into the crevices. Serve warm.
Source: Elizabeth Karmel
Please continue to read all of this. Yes, there is diatribe at the beginning, but the beverage that results from all this is spectacular. Really, it is.
Ah, the political conventions are over and we have been enlightened and informed. One person said our economic problems were so bad that no one could have solved them in a mere four years.
Some of us have been aware of that. For some time.
Like me. Suzen and I visiting my daughter in Seattle and we were at a huge farm stand selling hundreds of “gourmet” products from around the country. In my hand, I held a bottle of sweet potato syrup for $12. Four years ago, I would have bought it with no inhibition. But now, no. There was the price thing. And what would I do with it? And then the ingredients, which Suzen pointed out, began with corn syrup. I’m not paying $12 for corn syrup.
But, I was intrigued. How could I make that syrup, and how would I use it. Well, I googled, and I found a recipe for sweet potato syrup and even a cocktail recipe to use it. Sadly, that recipe for the syrup fails, in the sense that the syrup does not taste like sweet potato and it was very difficult to make. Getting the cooked sweet potato to dissolve into the syrup proved impossible, so I’ve added using a sieve in my version of life.
My version tastes predominately like clove. Mix that clove flavor with bourbon, or whiskey, and you have a great cocktail. A Whiskey Sour that hits you with the alcohol and then lets the clove tickle your tongue. And, yes, there’s a hint of sweet potato there still.
Try this cocktail and use this syrup recipe. In the meantime, I’m off to cook more sweet potatoes and come up with a true sweet potato syrup. If any of you out there have ideas, please let me know.
Whiskey Sour with Clove and Sweet Potato Syrup
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce of clove and sweet potato syrup
- 1 ounce of orange liqueur [Mandarin Napoleon if possible]
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Ice cubes
Put the bourbon, syrup, orange liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a cocktail glass filled with ice.
Garnish at will.
Note: this beverage is strong, so you may wish to top it off with an ounce or so of club soda to mellow it out.
Clove and Sweet Potato Syrup
Yield: about 1 cup
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves [or less!]
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the sweet potato in a roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast until soft in the center, about1 hour at least. You want the sweet potato thoroughly cooked so that the “meat” will easily dissolve into your syrup; if it is undercooked, you’ll have difficult time integrating the sweet potato in the liquid.
Remove and discard the skins, and let the leftover juices from the potato cool in the pan. Pour the juices into a glass bowl.
Combine You want the sweet potato thoroughly cooked so that the “meat” will easily dissolve into your syrup; if it is undercooked, you’ll have difficult time integrating the sweet potato in the liquid.
The one cup of water, 2 tablespoons of the cooked sweet potato, the sugar, 1 tablespoon of the potato roasting liquid, the nutmeg and cloves in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring or whisking to keep it from burning. You objective is to dissolved the sugar, that’s easy, and the sweet potato, that’s not so easy.
Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes to reduce by 30% or so. Cool slightly, then strain into a class container. When you strain, you’ll capture a lot of sweet potato goop. Use the back of a spoon to press and get any juices you can.
Allow the uncovered container to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Use within two weeks.
Source: Brian O’Rourke