Budín de Pan y Coco
- 6 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the pan
- 14 ounces bread (i.e. brioche, challah, or cakey white sandwich bread), crusts trimmed off if you wish, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican or dark rum or Xtabentún
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (regular, not “lite”)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup chopped papaya
- 1 cup crema
- Turn on the oven to 400 degrees.
- Scoop the butter into a large, microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute.
- Scoop the bread into the bowl and stir slowly until it is evenly coated.
- Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet, slide it into the oven and toast, stirring every 5 minutes, until it is richly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the bread and turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and scoop the bread into it.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- In a small (1- to 2-quart) saucepan, heat the coconut milk and the granulated sugar over medium-low, stirring until the mixture is just warm (not close to boiling) and the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the warm coconut milk into the eggs in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until well combined.
- Pour the custard over the bread.
- Let the bread soak up the custard for 15 minutes, gently stirring the mixture every few minutes.
- Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake until the bread pudding is barely set at the center, about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into pieces, place them on small plates and you’re ready to delight a few friends.
Variations: Garnish the finished bread pudding with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil and 1 cup chopped papaya. Serve with crema.
Servings: 32 2-inch bars
- 9 ounces (about 2 cups) pecan halves
- One 9-ounce bag pretzel rods
- 1 pound (4 stick) unsalted butter (divided use), plus extra for buttering the pan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces not larger than 1/4-inch
- 3/4 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) Mexican chocolate, finely chopped, (like the widely available Ibarra brand)
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups corn syrup, preferably dark (or use a mixture of corn syrup and molasses, sorghum, Steens cane syrup or most any of the other rich-flavored syrups that are on the market)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican vanilla
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- Toast the pecans and prepare the crumb crust. In a 325 degree oven, toast the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet until noticeably darker and toasty smelling, about 10 minutes. Let the pecans cool to lukewarm (but keep the oven heated), then coarsely chop them by hand—1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces makes luxurious-looking bars. Scrape into a large bowl.
Use a food processor to chop the pretzels into fairly fine crumbs. (You should have 2 cups of crumbs.) In a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave at 50% power, melt 2 sticks of the butter. Scrape into the processor, along with the 1/2 cup sugar. Pulse until everything is combined. Butter the bottom and sides of two 8 x 8-inch baking pans. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of each pan, then press them firmly in place. Butter the parchment paper. Divide the crumb mixture between the two pans and pat into an even layer covering the bottom completely.
- Make the filling. To the pecans, add the 2 chocolates and the flour. Stir to combine, then divide evenly between the 2 pans. In your small saucepan or microwave, melt the remaining 2 sticks of the butter. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat at medium-low speed (if your mixer has a choice, use the flat beater). Slowly add the melted butter, mixing until the batter looks smooth. Divide the batter between the two pans, pouring it slowly and evenly over the surface to ensure even distribution of the chocolate and pecans through the batter.
- Bake, cool and serve the bars. Slide into the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the center has just set. Let cool to room temperature.Cover and refrigerate until firm for easy cutting. Cut into 2-inch squares. Keep them stored in the refrigerator until just before serving. Transfer to a serving platter, dust with powdered sugar, carry to your guests and await the ooo’s and aah’s.