Saturday, 23 March 2013

Can bread pudding be "elegant"?

The answer is "yes".  We had bread pudding at Sorrel in Yorkville last night.  It was "Jazz Night" with Errol Fisher crooning tuneful jazz standards in the background.  After a delicious dinner of calamari, parsnip soup, veal scaloppini and lamb sirloin, we thought we'd have dessert to stretch out the evening.  I was also curious how a restaurant like Sorrel would serve bread pudding; afterall, all the dishes were elegantly served and bread pudding was not typically an "elegant" dessert.

Bread pudding used to be known as "poor man's pudding" because of its basic stale bread ingredient and was usually a clunky and heavy-looking dessert.   I've learned that it's now turned into a rich, creamy and decadent dessert served in the finest restaurants made with all kinds of specialty breads like brioche, croissant, challah, panettone, etc.  Far from looking like the traditional chunky and plump dessert, the bread pudding at Sorrel were two "slim" triangles.  Now some, including me, would argue that biting into slim bread pudding could not possibly duplicate the rich, homey taste and sensation resulting from chomping into a thick piece of bread pudding and letting the custard spill onto your palette.  But to my surprise, the slim triangles were every bit as rich and satisfying.  I'll let you use your imagination looking at the photo and would love to hear about your experience with bread pudding...

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