Sunday, June 28, 2015

The movement continues

My friends are taking on the mantle of bread pudding. Tremeta is my most accomplished (ok, only) student and her Rumchata and other flavors of BP have surpassed my own in greatness.

I'd like to think I inspired Vonetta, a caterer who just knows what to put in everything, as she crafted an apples and cinnamon BP that was devoured by her charges and coworkers.

May, June 2015

Papa Boudreaux, Franklin, TN

Papa Boudreaux, as a Creole restaurant, should know better, and it does. BP is a New Orleans favorite, so I expected to be delighted by the peach BP. It appears flavors change. It is made with the French bread served tableside, but for some reason, it tastes like it's made with wheat bread. Perhaps it's nutmeg? It was a pretty perfect experience, and though I usually eschew sauce and ice cream, I gobbled it all up. I don't even know what the sauce was. Does it need these accessories? I don't know. It melded into a lovely experience. The vanilla ice cream was good quality and flavorful, so it wasn't just something tossed on top to make eaters feel like they're getting more for their money.

The portion was huge, and with the two spoons I could have shared it. Could have... The only sour note was the price! I would have gotten it anyway, but it's priced like an entree, at $8.95. That's ridiculous for something made from scraps. Admittedly, I'd get it again, though. It's too good for me to deny myself on principle.

Papa Boudreaux's Cajun Cafe

June 2015


Carpe Cafe, Smyna, TN

Come on, really? This bread pudding taunted me for three days when I worked from the Cafe. This spot was an unexpected gem when I needed to be in the Smyrna area for the day. The cafe is known for its artists and its cinnamon rolls. I tried one the first day. the second day I had the hummingbird cake, a Tennessee classic in my world. It's bananas, walnuts, and spices. Finally, I felt I'd earned the right to order bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

The first amazing thing is the portion - I RARELY feel like I can't finish a serving. This ramekin was chock full of goodness. The initial bite told me something was different, It wasn't that it was in cubes, which seemed like the twice-baked potato model. They bake the BP, cutting the base into cubes, then cube it again when it's to be served. What surprised me was the lightness of the BP. It didn't taste dense like so many, The cinnamon wasn't overwhelming, nor was the sweetness. For a change, this BP needed the bourbon sauce. It would have been good enough without it, delicious with. Ok, I've kept you in suspense long enough. It's make from cinnamon rolls! The pastry chef makes cinnamon roll dough, bakes it, then cubes it for re-baking, with the custard. Actually, it's thrice-processed, since then it's re-cubed for each order, heated and doused with sauce.

Bravo! Go to the "downtown" square of Smyrna, have a scrumptious lunch and treat yourself to BP, or have it for breakfast!

Carpe Cafe

June 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY

Perfection. The only reason I'm not doubling the forks is that it's made with hot dog buns and the thought of that pedestrian source makes me a little sad. Though to taste it I would have no idea. The Desmond Hotel has been in the BP business for 40 years and they have achieved a recipe and a technique that I must replicate.

No raisins, simple vanilla sauce, smooth. I asked for the pecans but they were totally unnecessary, especially because I had asked for the spiced pecans from another dessert, but they were out,

Warning, according to MyFitnessPal, a serving without sauce is 700 calories, and with sauce is 1196!

Recipe: http://www.desmondhotelsalbany.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/bread_pudding.pdf

It is $7 well spent. I cannot wait to make this with Rumchata, but now that I know the caloric impact, I'll have to slim it down somehow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Memoriam: Sunset Grill and Aura; Rumchata BP is the new truth

Gosh, it's been quite a while since I last posted. Restaurants in Nashville have come and gone. I just saw that Aura is no longer in operation. Also, I am grieving because Sunset Grill is closed. The habanero-butterscotch bread pudding is legendary in my taste buds. It's a sad time, though I know there is bread pudding in my future at one of the new hot spots around town.

If I've had new BP from a restaurant, lately, I can't remember, and with changes in phones, computers and internet services, who knows where the photos might be.

But as Oprah says in her magazine, O, one thing I know for sure is that RUMCHATA BREAD PUDDING IS MY NEW TRUTH! Oh my, a friend gave me a bottle of Rumchata and I thought, hmmm. I found a recipe online and have been smugly content since. It even inspired me to make my own Rumchata, well, actually horchata. I can finally use this rum I've brought from Panama and the Dominican Republic. With French bread or Italian bread, it's fantabulous.

I just tasted the first attempt by a convert friend, and hers is even better than mine. Cheers to TN (her initials, not Tennessee)!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Aura Restaurant Bar and Lounge, Nashville, Tennessee

Aura should be called Aaaaah-ruh because it has an incredibly relaxing environment. The owner/head chef is a dedicated bread pudding lover and keeps it on the menu, tweaking flavors now and then.

This serving had as many flavor-note layers as a torte and it was more satisfying. It had currants (you know I preferred those over raisins), a hint of orange, luscious fresh berries, sugared pecans and a praline sauce. That is a lot to have going on at one time, but I celebrate the complexity and boldness!

http://www.auratherestaurant.com/

Price: $6
Raisins: Currants
Sauce: Praline
Ice cream: No
Visited: April 2014

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blossom, Charleston, SC

I came for the red velvet bread pudding and it was... definitely tasty, appearing that they chopped pieces of cake into squares as one would the bread in bread pudding, and I couldn't figure out what happened after that.  It was a small portion (for $8!), not enough for me to stop and think about it before it was gone.  It went down smoothly.  The ice cream was good, not great; the strawberry popped but I didn't get an impression of the cheesecake flavor.

I took the picture with my sad phone and I'm still trying to figure out how to get it out.

Price: $8.00
Raisins: No, that would be disgusting in red velvet BP
Sauce: No
Ice cream: Yes, strawberry cheesecake

Visited: November 2013