As children we all have foods that we would not eat. As we grow older, we change our minds on some foods and remain steadfast against others. I have a friend who won't eat strawberries and raspberries because he can't stand the amount of tiny seeds. In a similar vein, I love pomegranates but just can't swallow the seeds themselves. So I chomp on the seeds for the juice and then spit out the seeds. Yes, it's a disgusting foodie version of chewing tobacco and so I only eat pomegranates in private. I don't think I'll ever eat mushrooms, olives, or blue cheese, but I have started eating jalapenos, sushi, and bread pudding.
Even amongst puddings there can be varieties people won't eat. I love tapioca while others call it "fish eyes in glue". Yet I never cared for rice pudding, which is sort of crazy because it's a close cousin texture-wise to tapioca. I also hated bread pudding. I just didn't understand the appeal of soggy bread.
|de Vere's deep fried version|
Whole Foods gave me a free loaf of Rubicon Bakery's Cinnamon Bread. It's a new addition to their stores and they wanted me to try it out. Many others would call it a Monkey bread since it's a bunch of bread balls baked together with a sticky cinnamon sugar. This was right in the middle of when I was doing my Paleo February and couldn't eat any grains and breads. I threw it in the freezer while I gave thought on what I would do with it and whether I would continue to eat Paleo in the future.
March arrived and my Paleo experiment was over, but strangely enough, it did change my eating. I found I had absolutely no desire for rice and grains and even baking. I still wanted a sweet or dessert, but I wasn't rushing to bake something to fulfill the desire. Meanwhile the bread was still in my freezer.
The opportunity arose this week when we were to have dinner for a friend's birthday. I could make a bread pudding for dessert and take it to feed others while having a taste myself. I thawed out the cinnamon loaf and then started researching recipes. In the end I chose to be a bit different by using coconut milk. The result was a delicious, moist, and rather light bread pudding. In fact, the comments from the others was that it seemed lighter and less dense than other bread puddings they had grown up with. Success! A hit!
The recipe below is actually a mix of a few recipes taken from Allrecipes.com.
Coconut Monkey Bread Pudding
2 T butter
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 T coconut extract
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut, divided
1 loaf of cinnamon bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish with butter.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, egg yolk, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and coconut extract. Mix until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of flaked coconut. Fold in bread cubes until evenly coated. Pour into prepared pan. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup flaked coconut. Continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes, or until center is set and a knife comes out cleanly.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 T all-purpose flour
1 pinch ground cinnamon
2 T butter, melted
1 1/4 cups milk
1 pinch salt
1 T vanilla
For sauce, whisk 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, the flour, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 1/4 cups of whole milk,and salt together in a heavy saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Serve atop servings of bread pudding.