The Panda Sister came for a visit last weekend, which is why I chose to make something rather luscious and yummy. Let's get one thing straight, whether this is French toast or bread pudding, this recipe is not something you want to make for your Uncle Morty with the cholesterol problems. Eggs, cream, butter- all in abundance. I have some ideas for adding fruit, but that's not going to counter 8 eggs, ya know?
Let's leave figuring out exactly what this is for later. For now, here's how it went in the Panda Kitchen (ha! totally sounds like a Chinese food takeout, no?).
8 eggs (seriously)
2 cups milk
1 loaf French Bread or Challah
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Irish Cream liquor
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Start off by spraying a baking pan with non-stick spray. Cut the bread into even cubes or pieces spread evenly through the pan.
Meanwhile mix together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, liquor and vanilla. Make sure you really mix the sugar in, because in my experience it formed a bit of a stubborn sludge at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, cover, stick in the fridge. Best if you have a few hours or even overnight to let all the bread pieces absorb the custard.
Now get to work on the cinnamon topping, which let's not even lie, is what we're all here for.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then cut the butter a little bit at a time into the mix. The original recipe says use a fork for this, and that'll work, but if you have a pastry cutter even better. Hey, sometimes a specialist kitchen tool really does make all the difference. Keep mixing until you can't see any of the butter and the mix is the color of wet sand. You can also stick this in the fridge if you're not ready to make your French toast bread pudding (Frudding? Freading? Breadtoast?).
To bake, preheat the oven to 350. While it's heating up, spread the brown sugar mixture over the top of the bread and egg mixture using your hands. Stick in the oven and cook for about an hour. Your house will. Smell. Amazing.
In the end, I'm not sure it matters if this is breakfast or dessert. I mean, Mr. Panda has been known to make these cinnamon rolls which are just full of sugar and butter and are guaranteed to give you cavities while making you cry from delicious happiness at the same time. And those are breakfast. So why can't bread pudding be for breakfast?
Make this for dessert and take it to a party and everyone will love you. Make it for breakfast when you have guests and they will adore you. Maybe not Uncle Morty, but you know, generally. Next time- and there WILL BE a next time - I think I want to incorporate some apples or raisins or even currants.
One last thing, and totally not food related, but this is hopefully the last week of blurry, unfocused pictures with weird shadows. I ordered a little mini photo studio! Not only will this make for better blog pictures, but I can't wait to torture my cats with it.
"Say what now?"