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Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce



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Commander's Palace


La Belle Cuisine


Bread Pudding Soufflé with Whiskey Sauce

Commander's Kitchen:
Take Home the True Taste
of New Orleans with More
than 150 Recipes from
Commander's Palace Restaurant

by Ty Adelaide Martin and Jamie Shannon
2000, Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Makes 6 servings

“When I eat Bread Pudding Soufflé, I always think of the Commander’s saying,
‘If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway.’ Bread pudding was already near perfection, but
we combined Creole bread pudding (see recipe below) with the light texture of a meringue and ended up with the restaurant’s signature dessert, the single most sought-after dish in our family’s restaurant history. The whiskey sauce itself is divine but particularly so when generously poured over the piping hot soufflé.
Take it from me, this is no light dessert. Make the bread pudding and the sauce
in advance, the meringue just before assembling and baking.”

Bread pudding:
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 medium eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use
a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
5 cups day-old French bread, cut into
1-inch cubes (see Note)
1/3 cup raisins

Whiskey sauce:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup bourbon

9 medium egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
To make the bread pudding
, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow the bread to soak up the custard. Scatter the raisins in the greased pan, and top with the egg mixture, which will prevent the raisins from burning. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden brown color and is firm to the touch. If a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean, it is done. It should be moist, not runny or dry. Let cool to room temperature.
To make the sauce
, bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return
to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter six 6-ounce ceramic ramekins.
To make the meringue, be certain that you use a bowl and whisk that are clean and that the egg whites are completely free of yolk. This dish needs
a good, stiff meringue, and the egg whites will whip better if the chill is off them. In a large bowl or mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar
until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, and continue whipping until shiny
and thick. Test with a clean spoon. If the whites stand up stiff, like shaving
cream, when you pull out the spoon, the meringue is ready. Do not over-whip, or the whites will break down and the soufflé will not work.
In a large bowl, break half the bread pudding into pieces using your hands
or a spoon. Gently fold in a quarter of the meringue, being careful not to
lose the air in the whites. Place a portion of this mixture into each of the
Place the remaining bread pudding in the bowl, break into pieces, and
carefully fold in the rest of the meringue. Top off the soufflés with this
lighter mixture, to about 1 1/2 inches over the top edge of the ramekin.
With a spoon, smooth and shape the tops into a dome over the ramekin
rim. Bake immediately for approximately 20 minutes or until golden
brown. Serve immediately. Using a spoon at the table, poke a hole in
the top of each soufflé and spoon the room-temperature whiskey sauce
into the soufflé.

Note:  New Orleans French bread is very light and tender. Outside New
Orleans, use only a light bread. If the bread is too dense, the recipe won’t
work. We suggest Italian bread as the most compatible.

Chef Jamie’s Tips:  New Orleanians like their spiked foods spiked, which is
why the whiskey sauce for this recipe uses what might seems like a generous
amount of bourbon. Cut the amount of bourbon if you’d prefer. A standard
crème anglaise would make a good alcohol-free alternative sauce. [Or you
might want to try one of our favorite stand-bys: Old-Fashioned Lemon
Sauce, which is included with our "Jambalaya" Bread Pudding recipe.]


Creole Bread Pudding

“Much as we all love Commander’s Bread Pudding Soufflé, sometimes plain
Creole Bread Pudding is the most soul-satisfying taste of all. But do it right.
One day, while my mother [Ella Brennan] and I were nibbling on some bread
pudding, I watched her eyebrow go up as she discovered a morsel of dry bread.
I hadn’t soaked thoroughly, a cardinal sin. When pastry chef Tom Robey
walked by, Mom pointed to the dry morsel. She didn’t have to say a word.
Tom shook his head and went off to explain to a protégé how we don’t
rush things at Commander’s. Originally created as a way to utilize day-
old bread, this dessert, along with pecan pie and crème caramel, is a must
for any New Orleans restaurant.”

1 tablespoon butter
12 medium eggs, beaten
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (use
a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 ounces day-old French bread, sliced
1 inch thick (see Note)
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Butter a large (11 x 8 1/2 x 3 inches) casserole dish and set aside. (Once in the oven, the casserole will sit inside a large pan. A roasting pan would be good.) Mix the eggs, cream and vanilla in a large bowl, and combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl. This helps to evenly dis- tribute the spices. Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and combine thoroughly.
Place the raisins in the bottom of the buttered casserole, and add the bread slices in a single layer. Gently pour the custard over the bread, making cer-tain that all the bread thoroughly soaks up the custard. [We let ours stand
for a while before baking.] Cover the casserole with foil, place in a largee
dish (the roasting pan, if that’s what you decided to use) partly filled with
hot water, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, and increase the
oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour more, or until the
pudding is golden brown and slightly firm. Use a spoon to make sure the custard is fully cooked; it should be moist but no longer runny. If you’re
unsure whether it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it cool while it
remains sitting in the water bath; the carryover effect will keep it cooking
but it will not overcook. Serve slightly warm with the same whiskey sauce
as for Bread Pudding Soufflé [recipe above].

[Refer to the Note above regarding New Orleans French bread.]

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Some people prefer whole slices of bread, while others
like the bread crumbled. Do it your way.

Featured Archive Recipes:
More Commander's Kitchen Recipes

More Commander's Palace Recipes
In Memoriam - Chef Jamie Shannon
Emeril's Chocolate Bread Pudding
with Spiced Cream


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