Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)

Capirotada is an easy bread pudding to prepare, since it requires no water bath.  A traditional Mexican dessert, it features French bread, nuts, and dried fruit drizzled in a cinnamon-sugar syrup - yum.  Although traditionally eaten around Lent and Good Friday, there's no reason not to incorporate it into your winter holiday menus.

  • 1 and 1/4 cups packed vegan brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread baguette
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds*
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup shredded vegan Monterey Jack cheese (such as Vegan Gourmet)
1. Combine the brown sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

2. Cut the butter into small pieces, and combine in a large bowl with the bread cubes, raisins, and almonds.

3. Drizzle with the warm sugar syrup and toss to coat.  Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with the Monterey Jack.  Cover with aluminum foil and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.  The bread pudding is best served warm, although I also enjoyed leftovers chilled.

*Toast your almonds ahead of time in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan nearly constantly, until golden and fragrant.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 portion), Calories 313 

Tasting Notes:
I gave this a good 3 hours in the fridge for the bread to soak up all of that cinnamon-sugar syrup, and the result was delicious - warm, cinnamon-soaked pieces of bread reminiscent of an overnight-soaked French toast.  The savory pop of the cheese on top was a nice contrast.  My only complaint is that there needs to be more of everything - more almonds, more raisins... and bigger portion sizes.  The recommended serving felt like a super delicious tease.


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