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Panettone Bread Pudding with Orange Sauce and Candied Almonds

Cooking is my favorite part of the holiday season!  I love, not just the baking cookies and making candy, but cooking a meal for friends and family.  Cooking is my way of sharing my talents with others.  Spending time in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients and different cooking techniques fuel my passion for food.

This year, I have discovered panettone.  Panettone is an Italian sweet bread that is often served at the holidays.  It is a little acidic, similar to a sourdough and contains fruits and nuts.  To me, this just sounded like it would make a perfect bread pudding!

In the  11th century, cooks utilized  leftover stale bread to make dessert.  It was know as “poor man’s pudding”.  Since its humble beginnings, bread pudding has been elevated by adding different sauces and other toppings.  In fact, bread pudding is a mainstay on many restaurant menus in the French Quarter of New Orleans such as Brennan’s and the great Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA.

Bread pudding is easy to make.   It is basically bread, eggs, milk and sugar.  Using a bread with a good “chew” works best so that the bread doesn’t loose its form in the liquid ingredients.  For extra flavor and texture, add dried fruit and nuts.  Many recipes call for raisin or other dried fruit.

To add variety to your bread pudding, try serving it with a sauce.    Many restaurants add bourbon or amaretto to the sauce.  I usually use amaretto sauce, but in this recipe, I felt that an orange sauce would go perfectly with the panettone.

Candied almonds add texture and contrast to the bread pudding.  Although they offer a nice little crunch, they may be omitted.

PANETTONE BREAD PUDDING WITH ORANGE SAUCE AND CANDIED ALMONDS

1 16 oz. Panettone Bread

6 Eggs

1 Cup Sucanat

2 Cups Milk (or milk substitute)

1/2 Cup Whipping Cream (or dairy free substitute)

1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Butter (for pan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut panettone into 1 inch cubes.  Lightly beat eggs.  Add sucanat to the eggs and blend well.  Add milk, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well.  Fold in bread cubes until thoroughly coated.  Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Pour egg and bread mixture into the baking dish and bake for 45 minute, until golden brown and the middle has set.  Remove from heat.

Orange Sauce

1/2 Cup Butter

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Orange Zest

1/2 Cup Orange Juice

Melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat when thickened.

 

Candied Almonds

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup Raw Almonds, coarsely chopped

3 Tablespoons Sucanat

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Melt butter in a small saute pan, over low heat.   Add sucanat and cook until the sugar is melted, stirring constantly.  Add the almonds and cinnamon.  Stir almonds for 1 to 2 minutes.

Cut the bread pudding and serve in individual dishes, topped with orange sauce and candied almonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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