First off – Bread Pudding baked in a bundt mold. Holy cow!
I was flipping through my friend Eva’s gorgeous new book First We Eat: Good Food for Simple Gatherings from My Pacific Northwest Kitchen looking at all of the stunning photos and delicious recipes when I came upon this glorious creation. Naturally, it was the first thing I cooked from the book. Let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint. Bread pudding has always been a favorite dessert of mine and it so happens that carrot cake is another favorite. Combining the two and then drizzling the whole dense, creamy confection in a sweet, slightly tangy Cajeta is my idea of heaven.
Cajeta is like a dulce de leche, and this one has a unique twist in that it’s made by reducing sweetened goats milk. The flavor is good different – and so complementary to the bread pudding. It takes a while to make but is SO worth it. So worth it!!! Plus, the recipe makes a good amount, so you’ll definitely want to drizzle the extra over pancakes, ice cream, or eat it straight out of the bowl like I did.
Make this dessert asap! I’m so excited that Eva let me share it with you!
I just have to tell you all – I am a bit of a cookbook snob and if the recipes aren’t creative and the photos aren’t stunning, I probably won’t buy it. I want to sit and look at this book for HOURS. Eva is one of my favorite photographers and her work in this book is exceptional. It’s such a bonus that the recipes are just as wonderful. So many great combinations. Also – its presentation is based on the seasons, which I am a sucker for. Pick up a copy for yourself! It’s a gorgeous piece of ART.
- 7 cups Goat's Milk
- 2½ cups Sugar
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
- CARROT BREAD PUDDING:
- Unsalted Butter, for greasing
- 3 large Eggs
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- ⅔ cup Heavy Cream
- ½ cup Honey
- 1½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Allspice
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 14 cups stale French Bread
- 10 ounces Carrots, finely grated
- FOR THE CAJETA:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the goats milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, ,and vanilla bean pod and seeds. Cook over low heat, stirring about every 10 minutes, until the mixture turns a light caramel color, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring every 5 minutes at first, then stirring every minute once it gets closer to a deep golden color, until the mixture thickens and turns a deep golden color, 30 to 45 minutes more. To see if it is done, place a drop of it in a glass of room temperature water. If it stays roughly in shape, it is done. If it spreads out and starts partially dissolving in the water, it needs more cooking time. Once done, remove it from the heat, remove and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean Husks, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- FOR THE BREAD PUDDING:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set an 8-inch cake pan ⅔ full of water on the lowest rack of the oven. This will fill the oven with steam as it simmers and help keep the bread pudding moist.
- Generously grease a 10-cup bundt pan with unsalted butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream, honey, ¼ cup of the cajeta, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and salt until completely smooth. In a separate bowl, toss together the bread cubes and carrots. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture and toss gently with your hands to coat. Allow the mixture to soak for 15 minutes.
- Pour the bread mixture into the Bundt pan, pressing down on the bread pudding in the pan to compress the bread cubes to allow them all to fit in the pan. Place the bundt pan on a rack just above the water-filled cake pan and bake until the bread pudding pulls away from the sides of the pan and lookes golden on top, 50-60 minutes. Remove the pan of water from the oven and discard it.
- Turn the oven off, open the oven door, and allow the bread pudding to cool completely in the oven. If you skip this step, the bread pudding will not hold the shape of the bundt pan once unmolded. It has to be completely cool before it is unmolded from the pan. To unmold the bundt, invert it onto the serving late and gently pull the pan up; the bundt cake should remain on the plate. Drizzle with ½ cup of the Cajeta and serve with the remaining cajeta for drizzling on each slice. The cajeta should be used at room temperature, but if it is too thick to drizzle easily it can be heated to make it easier to pour. Any cajeta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.