Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce

For the the greater part of human history, most cultures could not afford to waste food, so a number of uses for stale bread as an example were fashioned. Stale bread was used in many dishes, which were both savory and sweet. One of those sweet dishes became sweet bread pudding.

The basic recipe for such a dessert, was stale bread, eggs, milk and sugar. Over the years other things were added, like fresh or dried fruits, and nuts.

If two of your favorite desserts happen to be bread pudding and pumpkin pie, then why not enjoy the best of two worlds, that is pumpkin bread pudding?

Our featured recipe combines bread with pumpkin and pecans. But that is not all, this one is accompanied by a toffee sauce that has rum in it. Do we have your mouth watering? Then let’s get to baking. Here is what you will need for the featured recipe: Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce.

1 loaf or 16 oz. sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree, without spices

3 cup half & half or heavy cream

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon Chinese 5 star spice

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup pecan pieces

Toffee Sauce:

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons rum

1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

pecans added to bread pudding mixIn a large bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, half and half or cream, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, spice, and salt.bread added to wet ingredients for Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum SauceAdd the bread cubes and pecans and toss to coat, making sure all the bread cubes are coated with the egg mixture.

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding in baking dish ready to bakeSpoon the bread pudding into to 13 X 9 inch glass baking dish and bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean.

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum Sauce fresh out of the ovenSet aside on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding with Toffee Rum SauceAs the pumpkin bread is cooling you can prepare the toffee sauce. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, add and mix together the brown sugar, heavy cream, melted butter, and one teaspoon of your favorite rum. Stir toether just until a soft boil, and set aside.

For the whipped cream topping, we personally place a large bowl and the wire whisk attachment or attachments in the freezer for about 5 minutes. A cold bowl and attachments will whip the heavy cream much faster.

In a large cold bowl, pour in the heavy cream, sugar, and rum. Whip until peaks form.

Serve a slice of pumpkin and pecan bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream, drizzled with some toffee rum sauce, and a sprinkle of pecan pieces.

Try some of our other great bread pudding recipes…

  1. Capirotada – Mexican Bread Pudding
  2. Blueberry Pear and White Chocolate Bread Pudding
  3. Blueberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding

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National Fudge Day

National Fudge Day

If you do not have a reason to celebrate something today, why not celebrate National Fudge Day! Yes June 16th is the day chosen to celebrate fudge.

Fudge is a splendid confection made with sugar, milk, butter, and your favorite flavoring. Some popular varieties include mixing chocolate with peanut butter, maple, caramel, peppermint, and marshmallow.

Scottish Tablet

Whisky Flavored Scottish Tablet – photo credit: Sweets for Treats

Were you aware that fudge used to be chocolate-less? The modern-day fudge we enjoy evolved from a candy called Scottish Tablet, which originated in the late 17th century.

While the recipes are some what similar, Scottish Tablet has a much harder texture and lacks the most important ingredient, chocolate!

Candy ThermometerPreparing  fudge may seem easy enough, but it does require a candy thermometer, as fudge is very easy to overcook or under cook.

There are some fudge recipes that have been developed for the home cook.

The recipes may include corn syrup, which prevents the process of crystallization, sweet condensed milk, marshmallow cream or other ingredients that guarantee the perfect fudge texture.

Though they do not guarantee the same taste as original fudge!

To get that original fudge flavor, you will need to use a traditional recipe with a candy thermometer or buy your favorite fudge at your local See’s Candy store or favorite equivalent and enjoy National Fudge Day.

Our featured recipe is Easy Chocolate Fudge and here is what you will need.

12 ounces semi-dark chocolate

2 cups coconut sugar

1 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

To make things even simpler, replace milk and coconut sugar with a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk.

Prepare a 8 inch x 8 inch square baking pan lined with foil. Set aside.

Melt chocolate  in a glass bowl over hot boiling water. Once melted, remove hot water from pan and pour melted chocolate into pan and place back over heated element.

Add coconut sugar, and milk. Stir into chocolate, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer. Do not stir again.

If you are using a candy thermometer, place it  into the pan and cook until temperature reaches 238 degrees.

If you are not using a thermometer, then cook fudge until a drop it in cold water forms a soft ball. Feel the ball with your fingers to make sure it is the right consistency. It should flatten when pressed between your fingers.

Remove from heat. Add nuts, butter and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon until the fudge loses its sheen. Do not under beat.

If using the sweetened condensed milk, just add to chocolate after it has melted, and stir in. Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla. When using the sweetened condensed milk, there is no need for a candy thermometer.

Pour into prepared pan and let cool. Then place pan in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until firm. Lift foil and all from pan, and cut into about 50 squares. Save fudge wrapped in plastic wrap. 

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Peach and Pecan Cake

Peach Pecan Cake

This dessert is delectable, and will bring a bang to your palate and satisfaction to your tummy. There is no added white or whole wheat flour to this cake., but rather ginger snap cookies, processed in to crumbs.

Ginger is beneficial for many things. Ginger has been studied and reported as having positive results for people who suffer from insomnia and nightmares caused by anxiety. The study was published in 2010 stating, “Positive results have shown that ginger binds to some serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects overall mood and anxiety levels”.

Ginger is also good for cold and flu prevention and treatment, migraine relief, menstrual cramp relief for women, as well as prevention of diabetic nephropathy or kidney damage. Ginger also aides in the digestion processes.

As good as this dessert my be, and it has ginger in it, you will not get any of the above mentioned results. Ginger snap cookies only have a less than 2% ginger root in the cookie. I am not really sure how they even get away with calling them ginger snap cookies!!

But if you wish for the results of what fresh ginger root can do for your health, then purchase it on your next grocery shopping day.

For more information about fresh ginger root, read this article: Benefits of Ginger.

Now for our featured recipe: Peach and Pecan Cake and here is what you will need:

Ingredients for Peach Pecan cake

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup gingersnap crumbs
1 (6-ounce) package almond brickle chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 (16-ounce) can sliced peaches, well drained and chopped (not shown on cutting board)
Whipping cream to garnish (optional)

Picture of 9 - inch Square Pan and Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Next line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside.

Picture of Chop Peaches and Process Ginger Snap Cookies

Next open the can of peaches and drain off the juice. Empty the can of peaches and chop them into one inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the ginger snap cookies in a food processor and process them to almost flour like texture, then pour the crumbs into a small bowl and set aside.

Picture of Processing Cream Cheese, Brown Sugar and Eggs

Now add room temperature cream cheese and sugar to a food processor and process until well blended and creamy. Next add eggs, one at a time, mixing in after each addition.

Picture of Vanilla and Half & Half

Blend in half-and-half and vanilla.

Picture of Cookie Crumbs, Toffee, Pecans and Coconut

Add ginger crumbs, toffee chips, pecans and coconut, and process on mix for thirty seconds.

Picture of Mix in Peaches

Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in chopped peaches.

Picture of Pouring Cake and Placing into Oven

Next pour cake mixture into the 9 – inch square prepared pan. Place the cake into the heated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is firm (checking with a knife, insert and should come out clean) and edges are golden brown.

Peach Pecan Cake

Plate and serve warm or chilled. Garnish with peach slices whipped cream, and mint or basil, if desired.

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Best Ever Strawberry Short Cake

Strawberry Short Cake

The days are getting longer and a little warmer. It still isn’t time yet for out door barbecuing. But strawberries are in season again. I bought 4 pounds at Costco for about $6.00. The time is right for Strawberry Short Cake. The recipe is adopted from the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (BHG).

At our place we like to top the cake with real vanilla ice cream, but you can use whipped cream as well. The BHG recipe did use real whipped cream. Yummy!!

They also gave other ingredients you could add to the batter for other great flavors, such as

  1. Strawberry Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortcake
  2. Mixed Berry or Mixed Fruit Shortcake
  3. Strawberry-Nut Shortcake

Just link here if you want the recipes for those variations: Better Homes and Gardens.

The original recipe includes real cream to whip up as part of the topping, but I omitted it, as we use real vanilla ice cream.

Here is what you will need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (we used plain Greek yogurt)
3 tablespoons milk
5 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease an 8 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, the 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using the back of a spoon, make a well in the center of the flour mixture. In a small bowl stir together egg, sour cream, and milk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once, stirring with a fork just until moistened.

Spread dough evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a small metal spatula or knife, loosen sides of shortcake. Place a wire rack on top of pan; place one hand on top of rack and other hand under pan and carefully invert pan with rack (use pot holders to protect your hands). Lift pan off shortcake. Cool on wire rack until completely cool.

Meanwhile, combine 4 cups of the strawberries and the 3 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

To serve, cut shortcake into 4 to 6 individual slices. Then cut  each slice in half horizontally. Place in a bowl and top with desired amount of strawberries and 1 to 2 scoops real vanilla ice cream.

strawberry short cake (2)

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Double Chocolate Cupcakes over Raspberry Sauce Topped with Almond Mocha Whipped Cream

Double Chocolate Cupcakes over Raspberry Sauce Topped with Almond Mocha Whipped Cream

Cupcakes

1 18.25-ounce box devil’s food cake mix

1 2.5-ounce jar baby food pureed prunes

1 cup strong coffee

3 large egg whites (see video below, how to separate egg whites from yolks)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Sauce

2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca or arrowroot starch

Topping

2 teaspoons instant espresso

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup powdered sugar

2/3 cup sliced almonds, dry-roasted

Preheat the oven to 325°F

Place a medium metal mixing bowl with beaters into freezer.

Lightly spray two 12-cup muffin pans with an olive oil spray

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cupcake ingredients. Pour two tablespoons each per cupcake well in prepared muffin pan. Bake in oven 21 minutes or until center of cupcakes are done.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and starch until the starch is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes over Raspberry Sauce Topped with Almond Mocha Whipped Cream with CoffeeRemove the metal mixing bowl and beaters from the freezer. Attach the beaters to the hand mixer and pour the cold heavy cream into the cold mixing bowl. Beat on high until cream just starts to thicken. Stop beating and add powdered sugar and instant powdered espresso. Begin beating again until the add ingredients are mixed in well and the cream begins to form stiff peaks. Place whipped cream into refrigerator until ready to use.

For each serving, spread 2 tablespoon raspberry sauce on a dessert plate, top with a cupcake, spoon 2 tablespoons of whipped topping mixture over the cupcake, and sprinkle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of sliced almonds.

Check out more Desserts by Splendid Recipes and More

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