Sunday, September 19, 2010

Warning!! Bread Pudding Bites Back

I planned for this weekend to be a baking spree. I wanted to make two special recipes I saw on TV. The crisp you saw in the last post and this was supposed to be my second dish. I saw this bread pudding on Paula Deen. I love her country cooking and excessive use of butter. However sometimes the dishes are even too rich for me. This dish was featured on an episode where her and her son Jamie went all out with some incredible desserts. I am not a huge fan of bread pudding, there is something about the texture I can't really get down with. But this was coconut and cream and had chocolate drizzle.Plus I knew my family would like it so I forged on. The recipe was very easy to follow and the ingredients were common enough. Just like a good old southern recipe. The worst part was the waiting. An hour to soak, an hour and 15 minutes to cook, and then 15 more minutes. All coupled with foil on, foil off and poke holes to vent the steam. But I followed every strict rule, even using a water bath, which I have never done before. I was so excited when each step drew me closer to the finish line. Now listen carefully because it may be hard to believe the first time you read this. You may not understand why my dish looks the way it does after reading the beginning part of this story. But if you don't get it the first time, or if you are in shock from what you've read please feel free to back up and re-read. Now remember I said this was coconut bread pudding. And we all know coconut is white, as is bread. And that wouldn't make an ascetically pleasing dish. So being the great cook that Paula's is she requested popping the pudding under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to allow the top to brown. I remember thinking this was genius. After seeing my bland blah pudding come out after its 1 and 30 minute journey I felt that I owed it to the pudding to follow the recipe and give it a tan. So I put on the broiler, took the pudding out of the water bath and popped it in. Meanwhile I was talking with my friend on the phone who was glad to hear about my baking extravaganza and was wishing me well. Now here is the part where I give you all advice. NEVER EVER WALK AWAY FROM A BROILER!!! NEVER!! and NEVER EVER TALK TO A FRIEND ON THE PHONE IF YOU DECIDE TO WALK AWAY!!! I walked into the kitchen to check it but was too late. Smoke was billowing out of the oven and when I opened the door I saw all of my hard work go down the drain. All of the waiting and planning was for nothing. Following the recipe couldn't help me now. Paula didn't include instructions for what to do when you burn your pudding. Because that would never happen to Paula. In a matter of 1 min and a couple seconds my pudding was burnt to a crisp. Even crisper than tanned girls at the beach. I remember yelling to my friend "I have to call you back" and slipping the oven mitts on so fast I could have gotten rug burn. I got the pudding out and nearly dropped it on the ground trying to find its resting place. I called my friend back and said "Booby Flay would never burn anything." I was disappointed. I remember her saying something about all good cooks make mistakes. But I was still upset. I worked so hard. For crispy burnt bread! Now your probably wondering why this picture doesn't look burned to you. Well that's because in a fit of rage and an attempt to disguise my mistake I pulled off all of the burned pieces. I left it on the stove and pulled myself together enough to figure out what to do. I would cool it, refrigerate it and serve it tomorrow. Surprisingly it wasn't too bad. Just ugly. I will try this one again. But maybe not coconut. I think chocolate bread pudding sounds more up my alley. Whew!

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