Tag Archive for Bread pudding

Panettone Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Creme Anglais

Christmas is less than a week away, and I’m guessing some of you are going to be spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen over the next few days. It’s likely your menu is set–for many of you, a turkey or a ham, maybe a roast beast, plus all the trimmings: stuffing and gravy and potatoes or sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberry.

But when it comes to dessert,  you may have some more leeway to get really creative. I’m sure many of you will enjoy pies or a trifle, or perhaps a yule log. This, though–this could become your new favourite.

panettone bread pudding

Bread pudding is an English dessert–one that’s very simple and comforting. It basically consists of taking stale, dried out bread, and bathing it in a sweet custard, then baking it in the oven. The final product is a little like a sweet, baked french toast, warm and comforting. You can elevate the humble bread pudding by using different types of bread or pastry. You can make it with croissants, for example, or, as I have in the past, a lovely baguette.

This is made with Panettone, which is the Italian version of a Christmas cake. It’s leavened, so it has a more bread-like consistency, it’s sweeter than regular bread, it’s round, and is studded with fruit. I got a beautiful Chocolate-Cherry one from Terra Breads, and decided to turn it into this.


To further kick it up a notch, I made a simple crème anglais, which is just a simple custard, and served the bread pudding swimming in a lake of the sweet sauce. You could also top it with some caramel–I had some left over in the fridge–or any sweet sauce with booze in it would also do nicely.

The best part? You could easily make it the day before, so it makes it a very low-stress dessert.


Panettone Bread Pudding with Creme Anglais

For the bread pudding:

  • One medium-sized panettone
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c whipping cream
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/4 c sugar (optional–depends on how sweet your panettone is)


  • Using a serrated knife, cube up the panettone into 1″ squares. Set aside for an hour or so to dry. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix up the eggs, milk and cream, then pour the mixture over the panettone. Mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture into individual ramekins, or a large casserole. Press down well, so as to get the bread soaking up the milk mixture. Cover, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread pudding for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden.

For the Creme Anglais:

  • 1/2 c whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean or pure vanilla
  • 2 tbsps sugar


  • In a small saucepan, gently heat the whipping cream, just until it is steaming. Do not boil!
  • In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and the sugar until they are pale.
  • Remove the whipping cream from the heat, and add the vanilla. Then, add a couple tablespoons of the hot milk to the egg/sugar mixture, and beat well. Then, still off the heat, slowly add the egg mixture into the hot milk, stirring constantly.
  • Place the saucepan back on the stove over low heat, and allow to heat and thicken. The final mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil!



Jungle Monkey Love Cake

There is a cafe in West Vancouver called Trafiq. They serve this cake/bread thing called Chunky Monkey, and it is, I kid you not, a little slice ‘o’ heaven.

I have been obsessed with reproducing the recipe, and, while more research is required (meaning, I need to go there and eat lots more of it–all in the name of research–I hate my life!), this is pretty darn good.

It is, in essence, a bread pudding (cake) with roasted bananas (jungle monkeys) and dark chocolate (love).

Bread Pudding is a very humble dessert. It’s essentially a way to use up stale, left-over bread, but it also makes a beautiful blank canvas on which you can paint many yummy flavors.

I made this from a baguette I got at PICA. Because their stuff is so good and so reasonably priced, it wasn’t day-old when I got it, so I left it on the counter overnight and made the recipe the next day. Erin at PICA  pointed out to me that stale croissants (also available at PICA) also make excellent bread pudding.

Jungle Monkey Love Cake


  • 3 bananas
  • 1 baguette, day-old if possible. Dry bread absorbs custard more easily
  • melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup good quality dark chocolate bar, chopped


  • Peel the bananas and slice them length-wise in half. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, and place the bananas, cut-side down, on the cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter. Place in a hot oven (400 degrees) for about 10 minutes, or until the bananas are caramelized. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice into chunks.
  • Cut the baguette into 1 inch chunks, and place in a large bowl.
  • Make the custard: crack the eggs in a bowl and beat. Add the milk and cream and sugar and again, whisk until combined. Finally, add the vanilla and nutmeg, and again, whisk to combine.
  • Pour the custard over the bread chunks, and stir well until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and mix.
  • Place a dinner plate over the custard/bread mixture to weight it, and cover the entire bowl with saran. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (I left mine overnight) to allow the bread to soak up all the custardy goodness.
  • Pour the custard mixture into a parchment-lined, buttered standard loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden, and the middle is set.
  • Allow to cool, but slice and serve warm with whipped cream and a sprinkling of icing sugar and grated chocolate.