Today is a special day in the blogosphere: tons of amazing food bloggers are uniting to celebrate one of my all-time faves: Cynthia of Two Red Bowls!
…because she recently just made the world a little more awesome by adding a tiny new third bowl to the world! Cynthia, who was already one of the world’s cutest humans–as I discovered when we briefly convened over an otherwordly Dough doughnut above Grand Central Station when she kindly took a work break to meet up with me!–was also possibly the world’s cutest and most productive pregnant lady, posting this insane french toast and these ugh-inducing biscuits while also rocking her new law job in sunny SoCal. Just another talent to add to the list in addition to being an absolutely stunning food photo composer, incredibly talented photographer and THE most thoughtful and uplifting commenter to grace the blogosphere.
Because Cynthia is the queen of small-batch desserts, I made a small-batch version of pumpkin bread pudding for her virtual baby shower (in a bowl, because we’re honoring her with bowl food). It’s also fully decadent in honor of Cynthia because she is somehow the queen of fully decadent dishes while also remaining tiny because she is magic.
The behind-the-scenes story behind this pudding is: I made Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin loaf for a Halloween get-together.* Normally I am team no-slice-of-quickbread-left-behind, but after multiple hours of sitting out uncovered, I had a small army of slightly stale pumpkin bread slices on my hands. For maximum ease, I tried cooking it on the stovetop and guess what? You can totally make bread pudding on the stove! (I am mildly obsessed with stovetop cooking.) The pudding turned out dense, cushiony and eggy in the middle with a fluffier outer ring that was basically like normal pumpkin bread, but with super toasty, caramelized edges. I topped it with a dollop of lightly sweetened vanilla cream, but I later added a swoop of caramel on top–and that, my friends, is how you really elevate this creation.
Ideally, you would let the bread become extremely stale and dried out and then let it bathe in the sweet custard mixture for a few hours before cooking for maximum soft and custardy bread pudding nirvana, but whether you wait or not, it’s a great way to use up perhaps an overzealously large loaf of quickbread or leftovers from a party.
Congratulations again, Cynthia! You are WONDERFUL!
*I don’t know what happened, but my loaf did not turn out amazingly, as I expect all Smitten Kitchen recipes to do! I felt like it was lacking in spice or sweetness…has anyone else found this?! Anyway, a kind of underwhelming quickbread works well in this since (1) it’ll keep you from eating the whole thing while fresh and (2) you can remedy any faults in the bread by compensating with a sweeter/more spiced/etc. custard.
Also, check out all these other delicious recipes celebrating Cynthia + family!
I am a Food Blog | Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibimbap
Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom’s Chicken Ruby Murray
The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman “Bowls”
Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Girl Versus Dough | Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup
Fork to Belly | A HUGE Hawaiian Fruit Bowl!!!
Donny Tsang | Chawanmushi
Wit & Vinegar | Jerk Chicken Chili
Constellation Inspiration | Salted Egg Yolk Custard Mochi
twigg studios | Katsu Udon Soup wth Popcorn Chicken Croutons
Edible Perspective | Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans, and Vanilla Bean Cream
Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
Southern Souffle | Sorghum Apple Biscuits In A Bowl
The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
Flourishing Foodie | Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup
What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
the broken bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
Fig+Bleu | Cauliflower Harissa Soup
my name is yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler
Chocolate + Marrow | Parsnip + Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta
With Food + Love | Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt
Fork to Belly | A Big Hawaiian Fruit Bowl
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder/soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg, ginger, cloves
- pinch (less than ⅛ teaspoon) salt
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 3 cups pumpkin bread, stale (if your bread isn't very stale, toast it at 225 degrees for 20-30 minutes or so if you have the time to dry it out)
- Whipped cream, caramel sauce, etc (optional) for serving.
- Whisk together all ingredients except for the butter and pumpkin bread.
- Melt the butter in a 6-inch cast-iron pan. Once melted, add the pumpkin bread cubes and pour the cream mixture over the top. If you have time, let the stale bread soak up this mixture for a few hours in the fridge. If not, simply cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Once the bottom is starting to look set, carefully slide the pudding out of the pan onto a plate. Carefully and confidently, flip the pudding, uncooked side down, back into the pan. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes, or until bottom is also set.
- Eat immediately with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, etc.