Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Master Baker Creation

As you've probably noticed, I love to bake. I enjoy cooking as well, but I would prefer baking over cooking any day. A lot of people actually prefer to cook, because cooking allows you a lot more flexibility. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, switch things up if you feel like it... and you still end up with a great dish. It's hard to do that with baking, as baking is more of a science and if you change the recipe a certain way without taking into consideration the scientific principles involved, the results could be disastrous. As such, I would have never dreamt in a million years that me, a strict baking recipe follower, could ever come up with a recipe on my own!

Well, we had two apples sitting around and I wanted to make something sweet with them. I had some french bread laying around too, so I decided some bread pudding would be good. So an apple bread pudding it was. But then I wanted some way to make it a little more interesting. I had some cranberries in my pantry - I thought their tartness would complement the sweetness of the apples well. So then it became a cranberry apple bread pudding :) For the sauce - I first considered a toffee/caramel sauce, but I grew up with my mom putting a little bit of rum in all the desserts, so a rum sauce seemed like a good idea for this dessert (that, and we didn't have any bourbon or whiskey). And so the Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce was born :) If you prefer not to include the alcohol, the sauce still tastes great on its own. I included a range for the amount of rum to be added - the lower quantity imparts a mild to moderate rum flavor to the sauce. If you prefer a stronger flavor, add the higher quantity.

I will admit that I didn't just come up with this recipe out of thin air... what I did was take some very basic bread pudding recipes and adapted them to create exactly what I was craving. I'm still so very proud of myself! I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and maybe this is where I need to start in order to become a more creative baker (perhaps even a master baker?!). I hope you give this dessert a try, and enjoy it as much as I did. If you do, please leave me a comment with any suggestions!

I'm submitting this recipe to the first Master Baker challenge. It's a new monthly blogging event hosted by Nikki of Crazy Delicious in which bakers make something using the chosen ingredient. This month's ingredient was cinnamon. To find out more about Master Baker, and how to participate, click on the logo below (deadline is March 2nd).

Cranberry Apple Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce
from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats

2 apples, peeled and diced (approximately 1 lb or 3 cups)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
4-1/2 cups day old french bread, cubed
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups milk (I used skim - that's all we ever have on hand)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Butter Rum Sauce, recipe to follow

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the brown sugar and melt. Toss in the apples, reduce the heat and let the apples cook until soft. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the apples and dried cranberries. Transfer to a buttered 8x8-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped. The bread pudding should be moist, but not runny.

Butter Rum Sauce
from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8-1/4 cup high quality dark rum (I used Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum)

While the bread pudding cools, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add the rum, and stir 3 minutes more. Spoon over warm bread pudding.


  1. I am the same way! I like to cook but I LOVE to bake! I have a feeling that my husband would prefer cooking than baking though. haha. Great MB entry!

  2. Well I do love me some bread pudding. This looks great.

  3. Wow, I'm really impressed by you creating your own baking recipe, not to mention having what looks like a great success with it on the first try! Looks delicious!

  4. I did not know about that event, Jaime - I want to take part in it, tks!
    I'll try to make something Saturday.

    As for your dessert, I felt like grabbing a spoon and eating it all, right off the screen. :)

  5. WOW! You really outdid yourself with this one! (And that's DARN hard to do in and of itself!) This looks so amazing. Do you secrety work for epicurious or something? ;)

  6. Oh yum! My husband would love this.

  7. You had me at rum sauce. Great job throwing together you own baked good recipe, it looks fantastic!

    Thanks for the entry!

  8. Wow look so DELICIOUS.
    Beautiful and sinful. But love them

  9. Congratulations on creating something. You should feel proud! This looks scrumptious! I love apple & cranberry and the rum butter sauce to top it off makes it all just sound delicious!

  10. I was thinking of making bread pudding this weekend, but now I know I want to!

  11. Hey Jaime, this sounds incredible!!!! Great work!

  12. Bread pudding remind me so much of my childhood! This looks delicious.

  13. Whoa! Droooooooool. And that's about all I can muster :)

  14. That bread pudding looks so good! I have been meaning to make a bread pudding for a while now. Boookmarked

  15. That looks so great! I love the rum sauce! I would eat a HUGE bowl of this... HUGE!

  16. I see from your profile that you are in Dallas. I grew up in DFW!

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I made it (with a few changes) tonight and it's fabulous!