Every restaurant in Argentina will have its own version of bread pudding. Their bread pudding or budin de pan differs from the American version mostly in terms of texture. The Argentine version has a moist, creamy and smoother texture, rather than large chunks bread since the bread cubes are completely broken down before mixing it with the eggs and it will usually have a caramel topping just like flan. Since the bread pudding has very little sugar in it they usually serve them with dulce de leceh or caramel sauce that gets drizzled on the tableside.
Carlos just loves this type of bread pudding and my SIL gave me this recipe to try out and it turns out pretty well. The next time I make this again I need to double up the caramel topping as Carlos complaint that it was a bit too little.
Ingredients for caramel coating:
½ cup of sugar
3 tbsp water
Ingredients for the pudding:
12 slices of stale white bread – crust removed and cut into small cubes (about 3 tightly packed cups)
4 cups milk
3 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla essence
1. To make the caramel, in a small saucepan, combined sugar. Cook the sugar until caramelizes. Pour it into an 8” round pan or any type of mold of your choice. Swirl the caramel around to coat the bottom of the mold. Set the mold aside to cool and allow the caramel to harden.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F. Place the cubed bread in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and make sure the bread is completely soaked in milk for 15 min. Put the soaked bread in a blender and give it a few buzz until smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs lightly with sugar and a pinch of salt, then combined it into the bread mixture. Stir well. Pour the mixture into the caramel coated baking pan or mold.
4. Bake in a bain marie (water bath), covered with aluminum foil for one hour 15 min or pudding is cooked thoroughly by inserting a knife in the middle and it comes out clean. The pudding should be springy to touch.
5. Remove from oven and let it cool completely. Once the pudding is completely cooled, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Unmold the bread pudding onto a serving plate.
6. Cut and serve with dulce de leceh or any caramel sauce of your choice.
Note: Do not attempt to unmold the pudding while it is still warm or it will fall apart. I kept it overnight in the fridge before unmolding it.