Yes, we worked like dogs to determine the Capital Region's best cider donuts last Saturday for the 2014 Tour de Donut. I wanted to avoid the unpleasantness that comes from woofing several donuts so I pledged to only take enough bites of each donut to get the sense of it and bag the rest of it for donut bread pudding. They have been drying during the week so that last night I had some very crunchy dry half-donut pieces. I finally got all the pudding ingredients together and voila!
The perfect fall breakfast
I'm terrible about following recipes, especially since most of the time one can pretty much fudge things by using a basic principle and not being very daring. The bread pudding principle I followed was: one cup of milk and three eggs + bread + flavorings.
I have a nice little Mexican cazuelas (baking dish) that is about seven inches across, which was right for a total of about two and a half donuts and the custard. I preheated the oven to 350.
Then things got out of hand. Barely keeping the principle in mind I came upon that little bit of leftover coconut milk that would be hard to use, so I put it in the ingredients area I was assembling. Then I got worried about the amount of volume I'd have, there being so little actual donut material. My eyes ran across those apples that need baking that are sitting in the kitchen and I selected a nice big one and grated it. So now I had 1/2 cup of coconut milk and a half cup of cow's milk, the three eggs, about a cup of grated apple, and 2 1/2 donuts. I broke up the donuts in the cazuelas and mixed the custard with the grated apple and a half teaspoon of salt, a few dashes of cinnamon, a tablespoon (more or less) of brown sugar and a few dashes of nutmeg plus a hearty teaspoon of vanilla. The donuts also had a lot of spice and sugar so there was no use in making the spices and sweetness overwhelming.
The grated apple kept things very moist during the baking, so it ended up being about 50 minutes even with such a small dish. I made a little foil tent at some point and kept it on for about the middle 30 minutes and that allowed the top to carmelize then kept it from burning.
I'm not terribly fond of bread pudding sauces, so I didn't try to come up with one. But if you need sauce it looks like Deanna Fox has come up with a very lovely one in her bread pudding article.
This was my first attempt at donut bread pudding, and I admit that I assumed it would be way too sweet and sort of yukky. Since I was able to monkey around with the balance of flavors I think I avoided that and got a rather moist, gooey pudding of apple cider deliciousness, due to the very moist grated apple and the addition of the coconut milk.
If you have a great bread pudding recipe, please share it.