Gooey Butter Bread Pudding
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 1 day-old french baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes to yield about 6 cups, left to dry for 24 hours (see note)
- 5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- vanilla ice cream
- caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish, six 4-inch ring molds (see note) and a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, beat together egg, egg yolk, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- In a saucepan, slowly bring cream almost to a boil. A tablespoon at a time, whisk hot cream into egg-sugar mixture, whisking the entire time to avoid curdling.
- Stir bread cubes into cream-egg mixture. With your hands, gently press the bread to help it absorb the liquid. Transfer to the baking dish.
- In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and powdered sugar. With your fingers, break off small bits and insert throughout the soaked bread.
- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees, remove the foil, and bake until a golden crust forms on top, 20 to 30 minutes longer. If necessary, run the bread pudding under the broiler to form the crust.
- Let cool to room temperature (don’t skip this step; it’s important to the texture). When cool, stir gently to blend in cream cheese and distribute the crisp crust.
- Place the ring molds on a baking sheet. With your hands, break off pieces of bread pudding. Working gently and using as little pressure as possible, form a ball, then press it into a ring mold to fill. Repeat with remaining ring molds and bread pudding. Refrigerate until firm (don’t skip this step).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake until bread pudding is golden and crispy, about 15 minutes.
- To serve, immediately unmold ring molds onto individual serving plates, top each bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and drizzle with warm caramel sauce.
The baguette cubes can be oven-dried instead of air-dried. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and place in a 200-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.