Instant Pot Nutella Bread Pudding

BM# 103: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Recreate into a new dish

I always pack snacks for my son so that he has something to eat on the way back home after his practice or a match. He is very hungry at that time and can eat one or two sandwiches easily. Sometimes I pack a little more than what he needs as his hunger quotient cannot be exactly determined. So it’s not too uncommon to be left with some leftovers. Recently when I ended up with two extra Nutella sandwiches, instead of devouring it immediately, I decided to make bread pudding out of it.

I made some more sandwiches, cut it into big cubes and added a custard made with eggs and milk/cream to it. Traditionally bread pudding is made in oven, but I used the Instant Pot instead and the pudding was so moist and delicious! I loved the taste of it, it wasn’t too sweet and the Nutella tasted great in there. The next time, I might add some Nutella or chocolate chips to the custard as well, because everything tastes a little better with chocolate.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source : Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 6 Nutella sandwiches*, cut into cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Almond slices for serving, optional

*I used bakery bread with about 2 teaspoons of Nutella for each sandwich.

Method:

  1. Mix the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  2. In a big tray or plate add the sandwich cubes and add 1/2 of the whisked custard. Let the bread absorb some of the custard.
  3. Now transfer this to a stainless pot or Pyrex bowl that fits well inside the Instant Pot and add the rest of the custard on top of it.
  4. Add one cup of water to instant pot bowl and place the trivet inside it. Place the bread pudding inside the Instant Pot bowl and cover it with a lid that fits or aluminum foil.
  5. Set instant pot to Manual mode and set timer to 25 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Serve warm or cold with sliced almonds on top.

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Platanos Calados

BM# 102 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Cuisines from South America

Now that my son’s summer vacation has started, I am finding that my time is completely tied up with his. All of his activities are at places at least 20 minutes away from home. Since I don’t want to drive forty minutes to drop him and then another forty to pick him up, I prefer to stay back with him. So long story short, I wasn’t prepared well for this week’s posts. Bear with me please! I promise I will be prompt from next week.

Coming to the recipe here, this is a recipe from Columbia. Most of the Latin American countries have some or the other version of sweet caramelized plantains. For an adult version, wine can be used instead of water. Panela or dark brown sugar is used with spices and water. It’s important to use very ripe plantains, the skin should be almost black for this.

The base recipe reminds me of how I grew up eating plantains. In Kerala, steamed plantains are served for breakfast. But when we were kids, my grandma used to add some jaggery and a pinch of ghee – very similar to the recipe here.

Read on for the recipe and do try to make this one.

Recipe source: My Colombian Recipes

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, very ripe plantains
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Method:

  1. Add everything to a small thick bottomed pan.
  2. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes in medium heat.

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Cupcake recipe

BM# 100: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Pick an alphabet 

Like I mentioned earlier, I have a go to recipe for chocolate cakes. And I have another one for Vanilla cakes. I always use the Hot Milk Cake recipe from The America‚Äôs Test Kitchen Family Baking Book be it cakes or cupcakes.Its a  very tasty and sturdy cake and it freezes very well too.

I chanced upon a Craftsy (now BluPrint) DVD at the library couple of years back. Craftsy/BluPrint has a lot of online classes for various topics. I found excellent classes for Baking and cake decorating there, so I took the membership. I found their decorating videos to be more useful, its really helped me a lot.

The recipe for cupcakes here is from The Perfect Cupcake by Jennifer Shea . I never knew that there is so much more you can do with the cupcakes, there is a section on adding crusts to your cupcakes which I found very interesting. She suggests serving cupcakes on the day of baking for maximum freshness. Since cupcakes don’t take too much time to bake, I found it to be excellent advice. The recipe can be baked as a cake as well, you will need to adjust the baking time according to the size of the pan used.

This is the last recipe under the alphabet C. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cups half and half **
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 gms/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F/180C. Line two 12 cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the mik, half and half, vanilla. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until it becomes light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add the dry ingredients mix in three parts, alternating it with wet ingredients in two parts, keeping the mixer at a low speed. Once everything is added, using a rubber spatula, mix everything well and let it sit aside for 15 minutes. Stir gently before using.
  6. Fill upto 2/3rd of the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are firm and a skewer inserted to the center of the cupcakes comes free of crumbs. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  7. Frost once the cupcakes are completely cool.

Notes:

*Substitute all purpose flour for cake flour.

**I use a mix of heavy cream and whole milk or whole milk alone for half and half.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

Checkerboard Cookies

1checkerboard-cookies

BM# 100: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Pick an alphabet

I make cakes regularly. Cookies – not so much, but I used to make it often earlier. The main reason was that my recipe sources were my cookbooks. I had excellent baking books and it was my habit to go through those regularly. I would try out the recipes and my first baking book – The Essential Baking, got me hooked to cookies. I never knew it was so easy to make cookies.

I have made checkerboard cookies also many times, but I haven’t had great success with the shape ever. I prefer making spiral cookies using the same recipe. The simple reason that it’s easier to make the spiral cookies. The shape doesn’t require you to bring out measuring tools.

Now a days, the recipe source for me has shifted from books to the Internet. So sometime back when I came across this recipe online for checkerboard cookies, I decided to give it a try. These were made as a gift and were well received.

Read on for the recipe.

2checkerboard-cookies

Recipe source: Taste of Home

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 sticks ( ~140 gms) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips, melted and cooled or 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Beat everything until its combined well. Slowly add in the flour in batches beating at a low speed until everything is well mixed.
  2. Divide the dough into two batches. Add the melted chocolate or cocoa powder to one part and mix it in.
  3. Follow this video for instructions on how to shape the cookies. Pictures or videos explain the process a lot better than words.
  4. Clingwrap and Refrigerate the dough until the time of baking.
  5. Pre heat oven to 350F/180C. Slice the cookie log into 1/4″ thick cookies. Spread them evenly on a baking pan, leaving some space between the cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are set and edges start browning a bit. Take off the oven and let them rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. The cookie hardens as it cools.

3checkerboard-cookies

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100