(adapted from Cuisine at Home, Feb 2011)
 
Note: the sauce recipe called for pecans and coconut, but I left out because I don't like pieces of stuff in my sauce. It also called for spiced rum, and I substituted rum extract.
 
for the bread pudding
6 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried currants (I didn't use these)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1-lb loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, staled (I used my store's bakery bread)
2 teaspoons butter (I used non-stick spray)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used 3--I love cinnamon)

for the caramel sauce
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons spice rum (I used 1 teaspoon rum extract)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I left this out)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (I left this out)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

for the bread pudding
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coconut milk, sugar, currants, and vanilla. Gently stir in the bread and let it sit at room temperature for 30-35 minutes.
 
2. Heat your oven to 350 and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Transfer the bread mixture to the pan.

3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the bread pudding. Bake it until the center is set, about 1 hour. Let it cool 20-30 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

for the sauce
1. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes.

2. Whisk in the cream, rum (if using), cinnamon, and salt. Bring it to a simmer and cook until it's thickened and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the pecans, coconut, vanilla, rum extract (if using instead of rum), and lemon juice. Serve sauce warm over bread pudding.
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