Cranberry Poundcake Bread Pudding

One of my favorite desserts that Sean makes is pound cake. It’s a simple cake that tastes just like childhood to me as I ate Entenmann’s pound cake by the pound whenever my parents bought it. This twist on bread pudding using home made pound cake as the “bread,” though really labor intensive, is a winner. Especially for holiday parties.

There are three main steps:

1- make a pound cake

2- make a cranberry compote

3- make the poundcake bread pudding

I’ll walk you through these three steps.

Pound Cake

Ingredients-

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a six cup loaf pan.

In a KitchenAid stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on a high speed. Add eggs one at a time, vanilla, and salt and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour until it’s all combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for an hour or so until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

Cranberry Compote

The next step is to make a cranberry compote. Sean added a couple bags of frozen cranberries to a pan on medium heat like you’d start to make a cranberry sauce. He then added a little water, approximately 1/2 cup of sugar,  a handful of frozen strawberries, a handful of frozen blueberries, and some frozen raspberries. This will turn into a sauce if you let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. He added some orange zest at the end.

This part of the recipe can be adjusted to your likes. The addition of sweeter berries allows for a little less sugar and still makes the cranberry sauce really sweet.

The final step is to assemble the bread pudding.

Cut the poundcake up into cubes and let it sit out at room temperature over night to get a little dry.

Cranberry Poundcake Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf poundcake cut into cubes
  • 2 TB melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups cranberry compote

Preheat oven to 350.

Put the pound cake cubes in a square pyrex baking dish and drizzle melted butter over the top.

In your KitchenAid stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and cranberry compote and mix until well combined. Pour over the pound cake and lightly push down on it with a fork to be sure the bread is covered and soaking it all up. Let this sit on the counter for 45 minutes or so to be sure it has soaked up the mixture before baking for 45 minutes and has cooked through.

Chef Sean served food to Opera on Tap Colorado at Upslope Brewing Company, and he served this dessert paired with their Christmas Ale. Smear a little extra compote on the plate and a dollop on top and shove a fork in it!

Enjoy!

Chipotle Roasted Fall Vegetables

So summer is over, but that doesn’t mean that there still isn’t amazing local produce to cook up. A few things I love doing this time of year, especially when the temperature drops down, is roasting what I can still get from the farmers market. One of my favorites is combining root vegetables with the slightly spicy chipotle pepper. There is something about the earthiness of root vegetables and the smoked flavor that chipotles bring that are a match made in heaven. Turnips and rutabagas work best for this but a few other choice fall veggies help to round out the side dish. This dish compliments most proteins, especially turkey which of course is going to be on everyone’s plate in a few weeks!

ROASTED FALL VEGTABLES WITH CHIPOTLE

1 Medium Turnip

1 Medium Rutabaga

1 Large Parsnip

2 Large Carrots

1 Large Yellow Onion

1 Can of Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

Set oven to 375. Peel and dice the root vegetables. I like to leave them a little chunky but as long as they’re uniformly cut they should roast up just fine. Next, toss the vegetables in a high heat cooking oil. You want enough oil to coat them but not to much where they get soggy. Then, and this is where the recipe can be changed depending on your affinity for spicy foods, toss the vegetables with at least 2 chipotle peppers and about a tablespoon of the adobo sauce. Don’t worry if you think you’ve added to much, once the natural starches in the veggies convert to sugars while roasting in the oven it will taste delicious. And if you like things with some heat, add in a couple more peppers and sauce. Give a quick toss with some salt and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake until fork tender, about 30 minutes, mixing occasionally.

I also roasted a Kabocha Squash seasoned with Black Dust Coffee & Spice Rub from Savory Spice Shop.

These two together make for a unique Thanksgiving side dish.

Sweet Potato & Chevre Gratin

Cool weather is here and what better way to help heat the house than to bake something! Colder temperatures also mean that the flavor of certain vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and yams. The plant, when faced with dropping temperatures, starts to convert the natural starches into sugars so it can survive. What does that mean? It means fall time is the best time to eat these tubers.

This side dish is perfect for any occasion, especially right around Thanksgiving. Now, sweet potatoes and yams are interchangeable but they do have some differences. Most yams will have a little more water content than their close cousins. Yams are better to mash up but will work in a this sort of application. But “Jeweled” or “”Garnet” sweet potatoes are what are most common, although I’m sure your local farmer could help you decide.

SWEET POTATO & CHEVRE GRATIN

4 Large Sweet Potatoes

1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

7 Ounces Goat Cheese

Heat oven to 375. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes using a mandolin, making sure that cuts are uniform. I find it easier to make “coins” rather than trying to cut the veggies lengthwise. Using a 7″ by 10″ baking dish, layer sweet potatoes with cream and crumbled goat cheese. I like to season every other layer with salt and pepper so that the dish is flavorful but not over seasoned. Potatoes should be covered in cream but not swimming, they have water that will cook out during baking.

Bake uncovered until gratin is easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Thanksgiving 2015

We had the honor and pleasure of cooking Thanksgiving again this year for a really great family.

I bought a local turkey as I did last year from Long Shadow Farm in Berthoud, CO. Unlike last year when I arrived at the farm to find a woman seated at a desk in the garage near a large refrigerator distributing chilled birds to anyone who had pre-ordered, this year I walked into a slaughtering/de-feathering/cleaning of turkeys small-scale processing line that I was not expecting at all. Our bird hadn’t even been chilled as she had been slaughtered just a few hours prior to pickup. Talk about having a real understanding of where our food comes from! I have that image seared into my memory… and will spare you the few photos I took.

We’re very fortunate to purchase such a quality turkey, so it’s extra important to me to serve it with all made from scratch accompaniments and sides.

I made the caramelized onion gravy base on Tuesday night. I’ve been making this gravy for more than ten years now, and each year I think it tastes better than the last. The butter and onions cooked low and slow for six hours. Six. Hours.

caramelized onion gravy

I started with a full pot and snapped a photo every couple of hours…

caramelized onion gravycaramelized onion gravy

 

 

 

 

 

 

…until I couldn’t resist spooning it into my mouth.

caramelized onion gravy

Wednesday I made my pumpkin pie, but failed to snap a photo. I also made a cranberry sauce with roasted shallots and mandarin zest.

Cranberry Sauce

Thursday, Chef and I cooked the rest of the meal on site in their Boulder home. The beautiful bird went into the 325 degree oven after being rubbed with butter and herbs. She amazingly and somewhat surprisingly appeared done after just under two hours. That was a fast cooker!

Longshadow Farm TurkeyRoasted Longshadow Farm Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put together a wild rice stuffing while Sean made a sweet potato and chevre gratin, which has now become a Thanksgiving tradition for this family.

sweet potato chevre gratinSweet Potato Chevre Gratin

The ingredients in this dish are simply sinful- The health benefits of sweet potatoes are far outnumbered by the cheese and heavy cream combo. But, that’s what makes it so GOOD too!

While the gratin baked, Sean worked on maple glazed carrots in a cast iron skillet.

maple glazed carrots

Next, he assembled green beans in shallot butter topped with fried shallots.

green beans with fried shallots

We added the pan juices to the gravy base, carved the bird,

caramelized onion gravyRoasted Local Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And set up a small buffet for them.

Thanksgiving 2015

We can’t wait until next year!

 

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