It's been a week all right. Here is the good news: Justin and I are officially moving to Oregon! He will be a duck, and maybe next year I will be too. We will live in a rickety house with a small yard where I can plant a garden. We want a cat, a hedgehog, and a baby. Very excited about blossoming future.
Still, the here and now is quite so-so. For example, got my car inspected this week. Turns out my ball joint bushing is out of whack. Luckily I had someone to tell me that a "bushing" is a noun and not a verb. Otherwise I would have called up the mechanic and said "Sir, do you fix bushing ball joints?" and they would have known immediately that they were free to take all of my money.
Will have to get that fixed next week.
Still hungry as it is still Lent. However, the week has been cheered up by a batch of reasonably successful waffles with an incredible brown sugar/rum syrup, and another batch of completely delicious bread pudding. I'm particularly proud of the bread pudding because EVERYTHING in it was from scratch, including the brioche, made a week in advance so it would have time to get stale.
Please stand by for photos!
bread pudding with blueberry sauce - yes, made from fresh blueberries (from from Peru that is...still working on that eating local thing).
I loved the toasty surface of the bread pudding with the creamy custard underneath.
best served warm out of the oven, with the custard drizzled. The blueberry sauce was kept in the fridge, to provide a cold contrast against the warm custard.
The waffles! You know, they were good too, although they were much more of a dessert than a breakfast. You know how I hate that...
Best part was the syrup - parts brown sugar, butter, and rum all cooked together and then mixed with sliced bananas.
SWEET ALMOND BREAD PUDDING WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE (adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book)
1 stale brioche cut into 1 inch pieces
1 qt heavy cream
¾ c sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 t pure vanilla
1 t almond extract
1 ½ t sugar
¼ c sliced almonds
1 recipe blueberry sauce (included below)
Make blueberry sauce, put in fridge.
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly butter a 2 qt baking dish.
Cut the brioche into 1 inch pieces. Lay them on a cookie sheet in an even layer and lightly toast them in the oven to dry, about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream with about half of the sugar, and heat to scalding, or until the cream is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges. Do not boil. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until smooth.
Temper the cream mixture into the egg yolks, pouring it little by little and whisking all the while. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Set aside and keep warm.
Place the toasted brioche into the prepared pan. Strain the custard over the bread and press down lightly with your hands until all the bread is soaking. Let soak for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with the sugar and almonds. Place the baking dish inside a roasting pan large enough to hold it. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set. It will poof slightly when ready. Remove to a wire rack to cool to warm before serving.
Serve warm from the baking dish with the cold blueberry sauce.
2 12 oz packages frozen unsweetened blueberries, thawed, or 2 ½ pints fresh
¾ c plus 2 T sugar
1 T fresh lemon juice
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice until it comes to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool briefly. In a food processor pulse the blueberry mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a resealable container and refrigerate for 2 hours.