Bourbon Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce for Casual Friday

Happy weekend to you!  It was certainly an interesting week this past week.  I turned another year older, Steve Jobs passed away and hubby had his annual oncology checkup and all is well.  WIth those three events, perhaps, some things about life were put in to clearer perspective.

Mr. Bunkycooks and I both jumped out of bed yesterday morning and threw on our exercise gear and headed for the workout room.  Yes, it was a commitment to get back in shape after the big birthday for me.  However, as Mr. B said, if Steve Jobs could accomplish what he did with his health issues over the past eight years, then he was motivated to do the same.

A beautiful garden in the mountains

As you may know, Mr. B has been through cancer twice and we have both had our share of surgeries and other health issues.  Sometimes, it can get the best of you and may even get in the way of achieving your dreams, so it’s always good to be reminded that life is short and that you need to jump in and enjoy it while you can, regardless of what appears to be limitations.

So, on that note, I think it’s time to get to weekend chatter and more uplifting matters!  Last weekend was very special for us.  Friends from Charleston came to visit us in the mountains to fish the local rivers and enjoy the beautiful weather (although the fishing left mostly empty lines, the weather was magnificent).  ;)

Fishy, oh fishy...where are you?!

I also had the opportunity to get in the kitchen to make one of my favorite Fall dishes, Boeuf Bourguignon, and create a Bourbon Bread Pudding that was inspired by a recipe from Bon Appétit.  You can make this decadent dessert and enjoy it from time to time, but I would not suggest making this too frequently.  It could be addictive and would totally destroy any hopes of getting back in shape!

I took this photo of raisins soaking in Woodford Reserve bourbon with my iPhone.  This recipe was most definitely inspired by our culinary event in Kentucky and our trips to the Woodford Reserve distillery.  Bourbon is not just for sipping or for making Mint Juleps.  It goes incredibly well when paired with foods.  Bourbons, like Woodford Reserve, provide a complex flavor profile that layers in flavors to enhance many dishes, especially desserts.

Soak your raisins in bourbon for at least an hour

I used a pullman brioche loaf of bread for this recipe.  It made it very rich and the bit of sweetness in the bread was perfect with the bourbon and the raisins.  The dessert was pushed to another level of decadence when topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce.  Our guests loved this creation.  Empty plates speak volumes. :-)

This will be a favorite of ours to make around the holidays , especially since it can be prepared a few hours ahead of time and then covered and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.  Your guests will love it, too.

Come back next week for my interview with Executive Chef Colin Bedford of the Fearrington House Inn, just for the halibut! ;)

Enjoy the recipe and your weekend!

Make this a holiday favorite!

Bourbon Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

This rich and elegant dessert can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before baking. If you use a softer brioche (I used a pullman brioche loaf), you may only need a 1 pound loaf. The pullman loaf has very heavy crusts that are removed before cutting into 1/2 inch pieces.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1.9 pound brioche or egg bread loaf, crusts trimmed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used a pullman brioche loaf) * See note above
8 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Homemade vanilla ice cream or very good store bought vanilla ice cream
Homemade caramel sauce (or your favorite recipe)

Directions:

1. Place raisins in a small bowl. Pour bourbon over the raisins, stirring occasionally to be sure they are all thoroughly soaked in the bourbon. Soak at least one hour and longer, if possible.

2. Once raisins have soaked, place bread cubes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and sprinkle raisins over the top of the bread cubes. Whisk eggs, whipping cream, milk, sugar, bourbon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Pour over bread cubes and raisins. Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing bread into custard mixture. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until pudding is set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly.

4. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

19 Responses to “Bourbon Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce for Casual Friday”

  1. 1

    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — October 7, 2011 @ 11:56 am

    I have been dreaming of bread pudding for the past week. This is a sign…I need to go make it. Looks amazing. Love the pics of the garden too.

    Heather

  2. 2

    The Mom Chef — October 7, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this ever since your tease comment about it coming. I adore bread pudding, and bourbon, and raisins. That says it all, doesn’t it. This looks fantastic.

    The mountains are glorious as well. It’s a bummer that fall leads to winter because it’s so beautiful. :)

  3. 3

    Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup! — October 7, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    Happy belated birthday, and I’m glad Roger is healthy and enjoying his fly fishing! I knew you would put those drunken raisins to good use…looks divine.

  4. 4

    Liren — October 7, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Gwen, I think the idea of a pudding exchange is brilliant. Clearly, we’re both in a doughy, sticky, sweet frame of mind right now. This is just the type of dessert I often crave – the bourbon and caramel must swim together nicely! Can’t wait to try it :) Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. 5

    Suddie — October 7, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    Oh this looks so good!!!

  6. 6

    Tina@flourtrader — October 7, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    I knew just by the name I had to see this one-it does look elegant and delicious-I will need to try. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

  7. 7

    Nelly Rodriguez — October 7, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    Bread Pudding is seriously my FAVORITE dessert EVER! My Mom’s bread pudding has a prune sauce and before you think, oh prunes, I swear, it is AMAZING! I love how your pudding is compact, I don’t like bread puddings that are “scoopable”, but that’s just me. Oh and I LOVE eating it cold ;) Thanks for sharing this Gwen, now I want bread pudding!

  8. 8

    Natalie J Vandenberghe — October 8, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    Sounds delicious!

  9. 9

    Jamie — October 8, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    Only thing better than empty dessert plates is asking for seconds! This is one fabulous bread pudding and the brioche only makes it better! And excellent with that caramel sauce! I’ve never made one with bourbon but you have me craving it now. Lovely, perfect recipe and great for the holidays. Perfect, Gwen! Can I come for the holidays?

  10. 10

    Jen — October 8, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    What a stunning view!

  11. 11

    Drick — October 8, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    great bourbon.. beautiful view and recipe too… nice touch on a favorite

  12. 12

    Jane Nellums — October 10, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    Gwen, This looks amazing! Wow! Can’t wait to try this during the Holidays
    for family! Heavenly!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Jane

  13. 13

    emiglia — October 10, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    I’m just stopping by to say Happy Birthday… and I LOVE that fly fishing picture!

  14. 14

    John — October 10, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    Bread Pudding is seriously my FAVORITE dessert EVER! My Mom’s bread pudding has a prune sauce and before you think, oh prunes, I swear, it is AMAZING! I love how your pudding is compact, I don’t like bread puddings that are “scoopable”, but that’s just me. Oh and I LOVE eating it cold Thanks for sharing this Gwen, now I want bread pudding!
    +1

  15. 15

    Carolyn Jung — October 12, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Bread pudding? With bourbon? AND caramel? My heart be still. My stomach is already grumbling for that.

  16. 16

    a spoonful of yumm — October 15, 2011 @ 5:35 am

    i love bread puddings and this is such a scrumptious recipe ! thanks :)

  17. 17

    Christin — October 20, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    We had a wonderful trip to the Woodford Reserve Distillery a few years ago. That is some strong stuff! Your bread pudding looks delicious.

  18. 18

    Kim — November 6, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    Gwen – cheers to your good health, and Mr. Bunkycooks, too. :-) You only live once, right? So have the bread pudding!!! This actually looks wonderful. I have good friends who are bourbon fanatics, so I think I’ll be making this for them the night time they’re over.

    [K]

  19. 19

    Judy Moore — November 7, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Gwen – We love bread pudding and this recipie looks devine! I also love serving it around the holidays. The “Biltmore Bread Pudding” recipie is one of my favorites, but now, I am very anxious to try this one! Love your website!

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