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What to put in bread pudding besides/instead of raisins - currants? Something else?

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What's best that doesn't make it taste 'not like bread pudding'?

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  1. We use finely chopped apples. Pears work, too.

    1. One of the best things about bread pudding is how well it uses your leftovers, pastries, that is!

      Vary what you use for the bread, sweetbread, challah, even leftover muffins. Dried fruit, the bottom of a jar of jam, drizzle some chocolate chips or shavings or even syrup. Chopped nuts, some brown sugar sprinkled in...be creative.. You can even make a PBJ bread pudding!

      1. I second the chocolate. There's a restaurant near me that has a chocolate chip bread pudding that's fabu. Big chunks, not the standard chocolate chip, served warm. And a nice bourbon vanilla sauce or rum imfused whipped cream could really dress it up.

        1. morello cherries, chocolate chips, candied ginger, toffee bits, peaches, coconut flakes, lemon/ornage zest

          1. Dried or fresh cranberries would be good, and seasonal, too.

            Of course, you could always add nuts.

            1. dollops of mascarpone cheese mixed w/ something sweet, like honey or amaretto.

              1. Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding. Recipes vary, but many include cheese and various fruits (apple, banana, raisins) and nuts. Instead of milk and eggs, it is moistened with a brown sugar (piloncillo) syrup, with cinnamon and cloves. Some versions include chopped tomatoes and onions.

                paulj

                http://rollybrook.com/capirotada.htm
                http://mattbites.blogspot.com/2006/05...

                1 Reply
                1. re: paulj

                  Thank you thank you thank you for reminding me of this dish, which I had once and was unlikely to ever find again. But I'm not sure how the cheese will go with the pannetone bits I've been saving for my next bread pudding. Hmmm!

                2. I second crystallized ginger, and add dates. good ricotta is also a good addition. sliced almonds and hazelnuts are also pretty nice.
                  Cooked down apple cider is a good sweetener.

                  1. My husband HATES raisins; I love bread pudding. I use dried apricots/figs.

                    1. Dates, dried figs, or even better, some dried cherries!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: OCEllen

                        I once made an after-Christmas bread pudding with Panettone and EggNog. It was over the top rich but good.

                        1. re: OCEllen

                          Yay! Those were my thoughts exactly.

                        2. I second the dried cherries...and some apples. I love the combo of apples and dried cherries...with a little caramel. :)

                          1. Paula Deen had a recipe for chocolate bread pudding, she did it recently. I saved it in my favorites to make some day soon.

                            Here's the link:

                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                            1. Don't forget the outside of the bread pudding. A little fruit sauce, hard sauce or spiked whipped cream on the side or drizzled over the top really 'makes' a bread pudding for me.

                              1. Dried cranberries (or cherries) and white chocolate chips is nice combo at this time of year. It MUST have a sauce poured over (with liqeuer) to really be good IMO!

                                1. Are you sauce fans saying the sauce goes on pre-baking or afterward?

                                  (The bread pudding will be made w/Jack Daniels and I was thinking some hair of the dog sauce like a whiskey caramel.)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Cinnamon

                                    Ror whisky caramel you wouldn't want to caramel to burn, so for something like that probably after.

                                    With jack daniels toffee chips would be really good mixed in with the bread..

                                    1. re: misti

                                      Next time, toffee!

                                    2. re: Cinnamon

                                      After!

                                    3. I was eating some dried persimmons today and thought they'd go well in a bread pudding.

                                      1. OK, the concoction is in the oven right now. I snuck a taste of the soggy bread with raw egg and whiskey - even as mush it is spectacular. I thought for the first try I would go w/just raisins and I broke up a dark chocolate bar that has a hint of orange to it, and stuck that in there.

                                        Now, I am all out of Jack Daniels. If I were to make some alcohol caramel sauce, would it be way over the top to do one using rum or gran marnier? I wonder about the latter perhaps being interesting - as the bread pudding called for 1 T. of zest (I used meyer lemons) and then it has the slightly orangey chocolate in it.

                                        By the way, thank you all for your suggestions. I inadvertently found out how great bread pudding is for using up milk, eggs and bread - the kinds of things that sometimes we don't get around to using up quickly enough otherwise.

                                        This is the recipe I used:
                                        http://www.jackdaniels.com/tennesseet...

                                        I should mention that the amount of Jack Daniels used is just over one of those little bottles - I'm sure you could just use a little bottle, if you don't have your own big Jack Daniels stash.

                                        1. A caramel sauce w/o alcohol will work well. I was looking for sauce recipes for you and this is what I came up with:

                                          http://southernfood.about.com/od/dess...

                                          the hard sauce with vanilla or the spiced vanilla sauce might work out.

                                          BTW, it sounds like you chose a great recipe.

                                          1. Thank you. I should report back on said recipe. I wondered about all the milk it called for, and as turned out by the time the bread pudding should have been done it was still moister than one would've wanted. I ended up flipping sections over to try to dehydrate the bottom just a bit - as the top had gotten nice and toasty with a light pudding underneath. That worked well. I took all but one fair-sized piece to a Christmas eve gathering and it all disappeared.

                                            So my final viewpoint is that Jack Daniels is lovely in bread pudding but that one might want to compare bread pudding recipes and modify a bit.

                                            1. i just made a bread pudding and put a layer of caramel and thinly sliced apples on the bottom of the pan. it was quite yum. also a good bread pudding can be made from stale chocolate crossaints or almond-filled croissants, in addition to the delicious panettone bread pudding

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ginqueen

                                                Apples and caramel sound wonderful.

                                              2. add some rum and dried apricots and cherries and some chocolate

                                                1. I enjoyed one I did recently with dried cherries soaked in Kirsch. Added the cherries as well as a little of the soaking liquid to the mixture.

                                                  1. The recipe from Todd English for White Chocolate Challah Bread Pudding is reasonably easy and totally delicious.

                                                    1. Bread pudding is a wonderful bucket for anything in the cabinet/fridge. I use raisins....dried apples....dried apricots...walnuts....figs. Just about anything on the shelf.
                                                      It's quite forgiving and handles everything, well!! A nice
                                                      sauce w/Grand Marnier works well, too!
                                                      Good Luck!

                                                      Contessa