The Ladies' Tea Guild

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Victorian-inspired recipe: Coconut Rose-water Bread Pudding, version 1.

I dug out my flavorings the other day and decided to try interpreting the Coconut Pound Cake recipe from Godey's Lady's Book as a bread pudding. Here's the recipe:

Coconut Rose-water Bread Pudding

8 slices stale sandwich bread (I used potato bread)
2 eggs
1 cup coconut milk, plus extra
1 cup 2 % milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus extra
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon rose water

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 4 slices of bread and fit them into the bottom of the dish (I didn't trim the crusts but the bread would have fit better if I had). Cover with coconut and sprinkle with a light dusting of sugar. Repeat with another layer of buttered bread, coconut and sugar. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the coconut milk, dairy milk, rose water and any remaining sugar. Beat well to mix, then pour over the bread, making sure to soak it well. Add a bit more coconut milk to the bread in the dish as needed, to soak every little corner. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to soak up the custard, then bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until custard is set and coconut on top is browned. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Well, I discovered that coconut milk isn't very flavorful, and while the pudding smelled great as it baked, it had very mild flavor. I cut the coconut milk with dairy milk because I didn't want it to be overwhelming in its coconut flavor, but I think that was a mistake. Next time I make this, I will try to use all coconut milk, and even add some extra coconut flavoring if I can get it, or some vanilla, and a little more rose water. Or maybe fresh lemon zest. But this has potential!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)