Have you ever met someone whose primary diet consists of carrot cake and banana nut muffins and ice cream? Whose sweet face belies her even sweeter tooth? Meet Dorothy, our resident Dessert Tourist. Dorothy will be Audrey’s resident Dessert Tourist, zipping in and out of bake shops and dessert cafes and ovens to share with us some of life’s sweetest.
I have a love/hate relationship with rainy days. They are so cold, gloomy, dreary and wet. I hate leaving the house on rainy days, but I can’t stand being stuck inside the house either. They make me fat because I usually spend rainy days snuggled up in bed with a big bowl of macaroni and cheese, catching up on reading. So this week of crazy rainstorms in Southern California has not been good for me. But I also love rainy days. They’re so warm and comforting; since I spend all of mine snuggled up indoors. And the world smells fantastic after a rain washes the air of pollution and impurities. But most of all? I love rainy days because they are the perfect days to make bread pudding. I decided to tackle Aarti Sequeira’s Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding this time. (Aarti also happens to be in the latest issue of Audrey magazine. Check it out!)
Aarti calls this dessert “Huggy Buggy” because it hugs you from the inside out. This is a bread pudding with an Indian twist, as it is infused with coconut and spices, and filled with figs. Coconut-ty, moist, fragrant, and absolutely fantastic with a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream, this bread pudding really does warm you up from the inside out.
Not only is it delicious, this dessert is also a cinch to make. The liquid ingredients come together in one bowl, and are then tossed with the dry ingredients. The entire process takes about 7 minutes (but let the pudding soak for at least 15 minutes before it goes into the oven).
Perfect for that rainy day.
Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding (adapted from Aarti Sequeira)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the melted butter into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and use a pastry brush to make sure the dish is well coated. Alternately, spray the pan very, very, very well with baking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add the coconut milk, the whole milk, the spices and a pinch of salt. Add bread, figs, and the coconut milk the figs were soaking in, and toss. Let soak for at least 15 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the prepped baking dish and sprinkle with the cashews. Bake until the pudding pulls away from the sides of the dish, about 35 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the oven and serve with ice cream.
*If your baguette is not stale, cut it into chunks and toast the chunks for 15 minutes to dry the bread out.