Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heavenly Lemon Souffle Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a great dessert to whip up because usually all ingredients needed are always on hand. I had quite a few french baquettes left over from a catering so... when life gives you stale french baguettes, make bread pudding! :-)

Lemon Souffle Bread Pudding

3 cups of 1-2 day old french bread, crust removed, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
4 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 cups half & half
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In batches, place bread cubes in food processor. Pulse until cubes are broken up a bit (but not totally made into breadcrumbs). Transfer to a large bowl. Add lemon zest to bread and set aside.

Butter the bottom only of a 2-quart casserole or 8 soufflé dishes (ramekins).

Combine cream, sugar, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, cook until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Pour over bread mixture, and toss. Allow to cool.

Lightly beat the egg yolks, then beat in the lemon juice, and stir into the bread mixture. Set aside.
Beat egg whites in large bowl of electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold egg whites into bread mixture. Pour bread mixture into prepared dish/es, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean. The top of the pudding should be golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired and garnish with fruit (I used tiny wild blueberries). Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Posted by Luisa

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My New Favorite Doughnut

I foresee making doughnuts on Sundays a new family tradition.  They're portable, light (in texture that is...not so in calories...) and a whole lot of fun to make and eat.  This doughnut recipe is supposed to be fashioned after the infamous Krispy Kreme doughnut.   I don't really think they totally replicate them to a T, but I think they turned out mighty fine for a home spun doughnut!   Don't tell my kids, but I even snuck in some wheat flour, and they still turned out light and chewy.  These require just a bit more work because they are a yeast dough, which means you do have to knead and wait for the dough to rise twice.  But they are so well worth the work!  Please.  Make.  These.  Doughnuts.  You won't regret it.

Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts (via Allrecipes)

2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable (or canola) oil for frying 


1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

The recipe originally states that the yield is 18, but they must have been ginormous doughnuts.  I used a plastic kiddie cup to make the doughnut round, a metal frosting tip to cut out the center and stretched out the hole a bit before sliding it into the oil.  In all, we ended up with 27 doughnuts.

The only other changes I made to the recipe is that I used butter instead of shortening and substituted 1 c. wheat flour for one of the cups of white flour. 

I momentarily thought about baking some of the doughnuts, but sweet Luisa talked some real sense into me and we ended up frying those babies.  And they were perfect!  Thank you Luisa :)

Posted by Dawn