|Sun King Brewery, Indianapolis, Indiana|
I am posting this a few days before my column hits the paper on Saturday. I knew once I mentioned on Twitter that I was working on a bread pudding recipe using my all time favorite local brew, Cream Ale, that I would not be able to wait that long to post.
I kid you not, since mentioning this last Wednesday, I have gotten emails, 1 call, 2 Twitter DM’s and a handfull of Facebook comments over this. What this tells me is you want this bread pudding and you want it NOW!
So without further ado…I bring to you my new favorite dessert. Yes, I am shoving my flourless chocolate cake to the side for this ????
Sunlight Bread Pudding
1 16 oz loaf of day old bread. Normally I use Challah, but this time I used a French Loaf.
1 pint (a can) of Sunlight Cream Ale or another smooth malty, wheat beer that has a clean taste.
1 pint of heavy cream
4 eggs, whole
1 C sugar
6-8 oz dried cherries (I sometimes use raisins)
2 tsp of orange zest
In a small dish add the cherries and just a bit of beer, to plump them a bit. Set aside. Cut or tear the bread in to small chunks. In a large bowl, whip the eggs. Add the beer, cream and sugar and mix to combine. Fold in the bread, cherries (with beer) and zest. While allowing the bread to absorb the liquids, prepare the baking dishes.
I like to make this in individual ramekins. Butter 8 ramekins well and add the mix to each one evenly. Place in a baking dish, then add enough water, around the ramekins, to go up half way (water bath). Carefully place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until set in the middle. Carefully remove from the oven, remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool.
While this is cooling, make the optional caramel sauce.
Fresh Caramel Sauce
adapted from Simply Recipes
1 C sugar
6 TB butter
1/2 C heavy cream
Heat sugar in a medium sized heavy -bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat. As the sugar begins to melt, stir with a small whisk. As the sugar begins to boil, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan a bit, but wait a minute and the sugar will turn a nice amber color.
At this point, add the butter, a little at a time, and whisk until the butter has melted. Remove pan from heat and add the cream. Whisk to incorporate, until smooth. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Re-heat before using again to get that smooth consistency.