My sweet husband recently returned from a trip to New Orleans and was so thoughtful as to bring home a big bag of beignets from the famed Café du Monde in the French Market. If you’ve ever been to this landmark destination, you undoubtedly enjoyed hot beignets doused in confectioner’s sugar with a steaming cup of cafe au lait. While I truly appreciated my husband’s good intentions, I knew that even after a few hours in the bag, the beignets had lost much of their original yumminess.
I tried to restore their original soft pillowy texture by reheating them in the oven, steaming, and microwaving, but found all of these techinques lacking. They came out either too hard, too chewy, or gummy in texture.
I decided that making bread pudding from the beignets was probably the best way to redeem these treats. Paying tribute to New Orleans, a creamy whiskey sauce seemed the ideal accompaniment.
While you may not be able to make this recipe with beignets from Café du Monde, it can be made with any type of day old sweet bread–donuts, pastries, panettone, or even croissants. If you use a bread that is not very sweet, croissants, for example, add 1/4 cup of sugar to the recipe.
Beignet Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
- 10-12 beignets, donuts or other sweet pastries
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch salt
Cut beignets into 1" x 1" pieces. Whisk together eggs, half and half, milk and vanilla together. Add spices and salt and incorporate.
Pour over beignets and allow to sit at room temperature for at least one hour or until the beignets have fully absorbed the custard mix.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes or until set.
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup whiskey
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup butter
Over medium heat, combine the half and half and sugar. Mix the cornstarch with whiskey in a small bowl and whisk to blend until the mixture is smooth. Add whiskey mixture into the cream mixture and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the salt and stir in the butter.
Pour warm sauce generously over the top of the beignet bread pudding.