Executive Chef Dave Chabot instructs on the art of a creating your own culinary delight each month.
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 medium eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
5 cups day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see Note)
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
To make the bread pudding, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow the bread to soak up the custard. Scatter the raisins in the greased pan, and top with the egg mixture, which will prevent the raisins from burning. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden color and is firm to the touch. If a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean, it is done. It should be moist, not runny or dry. Let cool to room temperature.
To make the sauce, bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool to room temperature.