August is a confusing month.
It is still summer but there is a faint hint of Fall in the air. You can feel that invisible tug in your heart, the one that whispers about colder days and bare trees.
When the alarm rings 5:30 in the morning, it is now dark outside and the dull yellow of the street lights seem kind of tired waiting for the sun to rise.The early sunrise and eager chirping of the birds are missing.I shush the alarm and snuggle into the quilted comforter.
Early morning when I juggle a coffee mug, a juice jar and umpteen bags, trying my best to slide into my car with minimum drama, I see fine drops of water droplets on the windshield. My heart skips a bit and the juice spills over.
The kids still play outside and draw on the sidewalk or ride their bike but the sun seems to plunge down early and by 8 in the evening big blobs of darkness has fallen around us. It is night, already, we ask ? Even a few days back we went for twilight icecream at 8:30.
You feel the days getting shorter. And yet you feel happy, lucky to cherish the warmth and the luxury of the remaining summer days.
August is also a special month for us, a year older, a year together, lessons learned, tears forgotten. For her birthday in August, LS did not want a party this year. Instead she wanted to spend it in a park and if it is an amusement park with rides that soar high she did not even want a present. So off we went to one such park that also had a chocolate factory next door, a 3 hour drive away to spend 3 days riding high and having fun. I mean I didn't. I mean I had fun but thank you no rides for me. LS had too much fun riding everything permissible with BS and BS's best friend who had come along with us. It was much fun to see the three girls together and though I spent 99% of the time just watching, I must say I had a good time.
Back home we are now getting ready for the new school year. Folders, Binders, notebooks, sharpened pencils are being bought. School is still 3 weeks away but I guess we are kind of ready for it. As much as we will miss summer, there are lot of things to look forward to.
And to pep up the feeling there can be nothing better than a warm oven and a home that smells of sweet vanilla and spicy cinnamon. So the husband man baked a bread pudding, a rich, delicious affair. The trusted recipe was from T, the one of the Tiramisu fame.
This bread pudding was exotic, at least it was very different from the bread pudding my Ma used to make very often. This one was rich, dense, gooey with all that chocolate and soft soaking in a sauce made with Irish Cream liqueur. It was PURE BLISS and I don't even like throwing my uppercases around.
If you are like me and lamenting the loss of summer, you should totally make this bread pudding. It will make you so happy that you will start craving snow and thick fleece blankets. Maybe it is the liqueur doing the talking but you will never know unless you crank up the oven and tear up that bread.
The recipe here is in T's exact words, so the "I" is actually "T". She wrote it in first person. Get it ?
The husband-man followed the recipe like a Bible.Okay, that might not amount to much. What I want to say is,He followed the recipe exactly as written.And you better do that too.
14 cups 3/4-inch cubes white bread with crust (about 12 ounces) - apparently French bread would have worked better, but I used just plain store bought white bread
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon powder
2 cups whipping cream
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
For bread pudding:
Combine bread, chocolate, and white chocolate in large bowl; toss to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in another large bowl to blend. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups cream. Add cream mixture to bread mixture; stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes. (Here it should have stood about an hour, or an hour plus, but I was running short on time!)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer bread mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup cream. (I didn't do this, I felt it was sweet enough ->) Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake pudding until edges are golden and custard is set in center, about 1 hour. Cool pudding slightly, serve warm.
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
1/4 cup sugar (I didn't add this, was sweet enough already!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Since I felt my bread pudding could do with a little more moisture, I didn’t thicken the sauce to drizzle consistency, rather kept it creamy and poured it in. Also I felt the bread pudding was sweet enough, so didn't add the sugar.
Mmmmm...just writing this is driving me into a tizzy... a tizzy.. is there a word like that ? I cannot wait to eat this again. Soon