Not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes, you’re cleaning out your fridge for a party, and you decide to use up the last bit of the 8 cups of ricotta you recently bought. You bake a perfect-looking batch of lemon poppy seed ricotta muffins, and you bite into one expecting the awesome snack to which you are accustomed –
Except you forgot to add the sugar. They only taste slightly less disappointing with jam. This was not the plan, but that’s hardly a reason to toss the muffins or suffer through their bland taste. Cue: muffins-gone-wrong bread pudding. Almost worth forgetting the sugar in your muffins on purpose.
Bread pudding’s a great way to salvage forgot-the-sugar baking or leftover stale bread. I went for flavours that I felt would fit well with the muffins – cranberries, cinnamon, ginger & cardamom – but you can customize according to your taste & the materials at hand. I’ve had some pretty delicious bread pudding at Aroma with orange rind & white chocolate. It’s a super flexible dish that lets you work with what you have.
While it’s best right out of the oven – steaming, gooey & crunchy by turns, comfort food at its best – leftovers will keep in the fridge, and individual servings reheat well in the microwave for a quick filling snack or dessert. You could up the decadence & serve it with a scoop of ice cream, but this treat has no need for a supporting cast; it’s sweet & complex enough on its own.
Muffins-Gone-Wrong Bread Pudding
adapted from Chef Michael Smith
10 muffins (or 1 pound of stale bread), cubed
1 cup cranberries (or other dried fruit)
3 cups soy milk (or milk)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coarse sugar
1. In a large bowl, combine cubed muffins/bread with cranberries. Set aside.
2. In a second large bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients except the coarse sugar. Drizzle the mixture over the cubed muffins/bread, and stir carefully until the cubes are coated. Set aside for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Pour the entire bowl into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar and bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 60 minutes or until the eggs have set and the muffins/bread is golden brown.