Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time.
Over the last few months I have often read blogs of the lucky few who got the The Heritage Cook as their SRC match. So when I saw I was the lucky one to recreate one of Jane’s recipes I was ecstatic. Where to start! There are so many recipes on her blog it is mind boggling. It really took me a long time to finally settle on one recipe. More about that in a bit.
Jane is an avid cook, baker, and passionate foodie. She says she fell in love with cooking when she got her first Easy Bake Oven.I so remember having one too! Ah the memories. Jane was also heavily influenced in the kitchen by her wonderful grandmother Mimi. I wish I lived where Jane live: in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have been to San Fran 3 times in my life since one of my best friends lived there for a while. I spent about a month in total there living like a tourist and a local while I stayed at my friend’s place. Jane sasy she has a wonderful selection of some of the best fresh ingredients, such as heirloom, organic, and sustainable crops that grow all year long. My favorite quote from her: “try a new recipe and if it doesn’t turn out, we can always order pizza! “
So what on earth would I settle on as a recipe. I decided to go with Jane’s Creamy Coconut Bread Pudding. I LOVE bread pudding and the more original the flavor the better. What really got my attention here was the lemongrass. The flavors reminded me of an old recipe I made once for a Lychee, Coconut and Lemongrass English Pudding. It was a challenge of steaming the pudding and I used the version where you needed suet or the such. Hated the crust part but loved the filling.
Ξ Creamy Coconut Bread Pudding Ξ
adapted for the hot and lazy person
6 cups of 1-inch cubes of white bread (with crusts)
2 cups half-and-half
1-1/2 cups shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1 (13-1/2 or 14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
4 tbsp prepared minced lemongrass
Pinch of salt
6 large eggs
1/2 cup shaved palm sugar or packed light brown sugar
Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Put the cubed bread in the prepared baking dish.
Whisk the half-and-half, 1 cup of the coconut, the coconut milk, the lemongrass, the salt, the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture over the bread and push down all the bread with a spoon to submerge it. sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut. Let stand for 1 hour or up to overnight in the fridge covered.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until set and the edges start getting a bit brown. Spoon the warm pudding into bowls and serve immediately.
I did a lot of modifications to the recipe. Now the original recipe looks amazing and is probably much creamier and flavorful than my version because I did not toast the coconut or bread and I did not make the custard. With the crazy hot temperatures there was no way I was going to slave over a hot stove and hot burners in my zero-air-circulation tiny kitchen. I mean it is 29 C/ 84 F in my kitchen right now. So I did a quick version, my usual bread pudding technique, with all of her ingredients. I keep frozen finely chopped lemongrass in my freezer so I used that instead of stalks of lemon grass. I left the lemongrass in the mixture as I like the taste and this way the mixture would infuse as it cooks. I am very happy with my quickie version and recommend it if you don’ t have as much time or convenience either.