The Hand Off: Morocc ‘N Roll Bread Pudding
by Katherine Bynon
As I embarked on my spicy journey to build the perfect Moroccan spiced bread pudding I found myself in a local organic grocery store, Windmill Farms. I tend to treat these type of grocery store outings as something of a field trip. I luxuriate in the store, ambling up and down the aisles, reading labels, sniffing breads and fruits, dropping new interesting goodies into my cart. On this trip I happened upon goat butter , which just screamed Morocco to me. If you can find goat butter, by all means buy it and use it. It is a cousin to tangy goat cheese, but the tang is muted leaving a smooth, buttery – can I say “goat-y” – taste that took my bread pudding to the next level, absolutely over the top. I also found Straus Family Creamery organic milk, sourced from their own dairy cows located in the beautiful Marshal California, where they focus on environmentally safe practices and natural animal health.
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After testing various combinations of warming Moroccan spices, I decided on the amounts that I have given you below. This formulation gives a subtle hint of spiciness to this warming dessert. I have since made another of these puddings and doubled the dose of spices – which, for my tastes, only made it better. I encourage you to add and subtract as you like; the “spice mix” is made separately from the pudding, so you can taste and experiment as you wish before you add.
Moroccan Bread Pudding
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30-35 minutes
Yield: 1 9×13 pan
- 2 Tbs light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs granulated sugar
- 1 loaf challah bread, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
- 9 large egg yolks from free range chickens
- 4 tsp orange extract
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 Tbs unsalted goat butter, or regular butter
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- pinch of ground clove
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbs fresh orange zest (use fine grater or peel zest and mince, avoid the pith)
- Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine brown sugar, 1 tsp granulated sugar and all spices in a small bowl and set aside. Taste as you go – adjusting the spice mix to fit your taste!
- Spread bread chunks in single layer on 2 baking sheets. Bake, tossing occasionally, until just dry, about 15 minutes.
- Switch trays from top to bottom about half way through to get all the bread the same dryness.
- Cool bread chunks for about fifteen minutes. Reserve two cups of bread chunks, set aside.
- Whisk nine egg yolks, 3/4 cup of sugar, orange extract, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in cream and milk until combined. Add remaining 8 cups of bread chunks and toss to coat.
- Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 inch un-greased pan and let stand, occasionally pressing bread into the custard, until the chunks are thoroughly saturated, about 30 minutes.
- Spread the reserved bread chunks evenly over the soaked bread and gently press into the custard. Using a pastry brush, dab melted butter over top of un-soaked bread pieces.
- Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture evenly over the top.
- Place the bread pudding on the middle rack of the heated oven and bake until the custard has set and pressing the center of the pudding with fingers reveals no runny liquid, about 45-50 minutes.
- Cool until pudding is set and just warm. In the meantime, start the Orange Sauce.
- 6 navel oranges, juiced
- 1 Zest from one orange, (use fine grater or peel zest and mince, avoid the pith)
- 1 Tbs fresh minced ginger
- 8 Tbs granulated sugar, or to taste
- 4 Tbs Canton Ginger Liqueur
- 4 Tbs triple sec
- 1 pinch ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 8 Tbs goat butter
- Put orange juice, orange zest, fresh ginger and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, bring it to a rolling boil. Stir constantly for five minutes then reduce to a simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 25 minutes.
- After sauce is reduced, add liqueurs and dried spices.
- Continue to simmer for 5 minutes to further reduce. Then let cool.
- Melt goat butter to a mixable liquid in pan or microwave.
- Stir melted goat butter into the orange sauce and let cool so that it is lukewarm. Drizzle over the warm bread pudding.
- Serve with a glass of Moscato and a strong cup of coffee and enjoy!!!
As my friends and family will attest, I am not afraid to “gild the lily”! So, after one bite of this warm delight, I ran to the wine cooler and pulled out a Moscato to go with this creation. I have to confess – there were no greens for dinner that night. In fact, there was no dinner at all. My guy and I just ate bread pudding and wine! Bread and wine…it doesn’t get any better! Eat well!