A Delightful Twist on Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is a classic British dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. This delectable dessert consists of layers of stale bread, butter, raisins, and currants, all topped with a rich spiced cream and baked until golden and irresistible. While the original recipe called for puff pastry and orange blossom water, modern versions commonly use stale bread instead.
Introducing Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns, a beloved Easter treat in Australia and many other countries, are the star ingredient in our smoky twist on bread pudding. These spiced fruit buns are available year-round in supermarkets. However, if you can’t get your hands on hot cross buns, fear not! Regular white bread or croissants make great substitutes.
Unveiling the Smoky Delight
Prepare to be amazed by the incredible flavors that smoking adds to desserts. The smokiness from cooking over charcoal and wood infuses a distinct depth of flavor into your dishes. Plus, cooking outdoors on the grill provides a fun and convenient way to prepare your meals.
Making the Custard
Let’s start by creating a luscious custard as the base for our bread pudding. In a medium bowl, combine 4 whole eggs and an additional egg yolk. Add 2 ½ cups of pouring or cooking cream, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and a tsp each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. For a slightly sweeter dish, feel free to include a tablespoon of brown or caster sugar.
Firing Up the BBQ
To achieve the perfect cook, ignite your smoker and aim for a temperature of 375°F. If it goes slightly higher, don’t worry, but try not to exceed 390°F. This ensures that the outside doesn’t overcook while leaving the inside raw. Pecan chunks work wonderfully for this recipe, but you can also experiment with cherry or apple wood for a unique flavor.
Assembling the Pudding
While your BBQ is heating up, it’s time to assemble your bread pudding. Tear your hot cross buns into rustic chunks, approximately 1.5-2″ in size. Place these delicious bready pieces in a 9″x9″ baking dish, fitting them together like a mouthwatering Tetris game. Sprinkle white chocolate chips and cranberries generously over the bun base, giving your pudding an exciting twist. Finally, pour the custard mixture evenly over the ingredients, ensuring their complete coverage.
Cooking the Pudding
Once your BBQ has reached the desired temperature, add a couple of chunks of smoking wood and carefully place the baking dish inside. Close the lid and let it bake for about 45 minutes or until the center reaches 165°F. The pudding should have a slight jiggle, resembling jello or a souffle consistency. Don’t worry if it appears slightly soupy; it will set as it continues to cook and cool outside the smoker.
Serving the Pudding
After approximately 10 minutes of cooling, it’s time to indulge in your smoky bread pudding. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream for a delightful treat. For an extra touch of indulgence, dust it with powdered sugar and cinnamon. For a truly decadent experience, pair it with a Baileys Irish Cream to enhance its creamy, alcoholic richness. Cheers, mate!