Irish Coffee Bread Pudding

Irish Coffee Bread Pudding: The Briarwood Baker

Hello friends, it’s been a while! Now that the week from Hell including midterms, papers, and a bajillion other things is over, I finally have time to share this recipe with you. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, I decided to create a dessert using booze (of course). Originally I was going to do some sort of Guinness chocolate something-or-other with Bailey’s somehow worked in but then realized that 99% of the recipes on the internet use Guinness and chocolate around St. Patty’s Day. Not wanting to be like everyone else (that’s also what I told my mom in middle school when I wanted to dye my hair purple, but that’s another story), I decided to develop another recipe using booze (trust me, there’s no shortage of boozy recipes on this site either). I happened to be guzzling cups of coffee since I might or might not have been pulling an all-nighter to finish a paper, when it hit me. No, not how presidential power has evolved since the Founding (although that probably would have been much more productive at that point at 2 in the morning), but IRISH COFFEE. The real question was though, what dessert would I incorporate Irish coffee into? Cakes? Muffins? Cookies? Pies?

Then it hit me. Bread pudding. Probably because I’ve seen zero St. Patrick’s Day bread pudding recipes. Or for any holiday actually. Bread pudding seems to be the forgotten dessert that people downplay as a breakfast food. Now, I’m not denying the deliciousness of bread pudding for breakfast. But it’s also a fantastic dessert, especially served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Irish Coffee Bread Pudding: The Briarwood Baker

I used a fairly basic bread pudding recipe, but mixed in a couple tablespoons of espresso powder with the milk to give it the coffee element. I also added in whiskey because what’s Irish coffee without whiskey? Because the bread soaks up the majority of the liquid, I wanted a custard-y layer on top, which led to me making a whiskey sauce to pour on top of the bread pudding once it came out of the oven. Because it has an egg in it, it’s more of a custard than a sauce, which I thought was the perfect addition to the pudding. If you want more of a boozy flavor, feel free to adjust the ratios. It is fairly subtle because I wanted the coffee flavor to come through. If you want a stronger coffee flavor, add in more espresso. The bread pudding tastes vaguely of coffee ice cream which I loved. However, if you want more or less of one or both flavors, experiment! The world is your oyster. Or maybe I should say the bread pudding is your canvas.

Irish Coffee Bread Pudding: The Briarwood Baker

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Irish Coffee Bread Pudding

For the bread pudding:

2 1/4 cups milk

2 tablespoons instant espresso granules

4 beaten eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons whiskey

5 cups bread cubes

For the whiskey sauce:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons whiskey

 

For the bread pudding:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Pour milk into a small saucepan and heat just until barely simmering. Add the espresso, stir until dissolved, and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and whiskey. Add in the cooled milk and whisk until combined. Put the bread cubes in an ungreased 2 quart square baking dish and pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Press the mixture lightly with the back of a wooden spoon.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until puffed and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. After removing from the oven, pour the whiskey sauce over the top. Fantastic served warm or cooled, whatever your preference is.

For the whiskey sauce:

Mix together the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the whiskey, stirring well. Pour over the top of the bread pudding after removing it from the oven.

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