Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Capirotada - Mexican Bread Pudding
Last week in reviewing the Muy Bueno Cookbook we had the option of making Mushroom, Jalapeno, and Cilantro Salsa and/or Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding). I had planned on doing both and posting both, last week. I only got to do the salsa. I had purchased all of the ingredients for Capirotada, and was ready to make it when I discovered it's not something you can just "whip up". Not that it's labor intensive but there is some time (prep and rest) needed. I had to wait until the following weekend to make it.
If you're not familiar with Mexican Bread Pudding, let me start off by saying it's not a custardy bread putting. There are no eggs or cream in the recipe. The bread soaks in this wonderfully amazing syrup thats made with piloncillo,. cinnamon, cloves and water. Piloncillo is sorta, kinda like brown sugar. I found mine at the Mexican market. It's sold in cones and is very hard. Have you ever come across those brown sugar 'stones' before and they don't break apart? Its hard (if not more so) than that. The other difference....flavor. Piloncillo definitely has a much stronger maple flavor to it. If you can't find piloncillo then go with dark brown sugar, but hopefully, you'll be able to find it. It's wonderful.
Now, the difference between Capirotada and your standard bread pudding doesn't end with the custard and flavor. Capirotada has a very deep religious meaning and is typically eaten during Lent. The list of ingredients are very symbolic: Bread represents the Body of Christ, the syrup is his blood, the cloves stand for the nails on the cross, the cinnamon represent the wooden cross and the cheese is the Holy Shroud.
This dish is meant to be eaten warm and heats up nicely even a day or two after it has been made.
4 bolillo rolls (or French rolls)
4 TB butter
4 1/2 cups water
12 ounces piloncillo (or 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed)
4 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 cup raisins
3 cups shredded Longhorn Cheddar or Colby cheese
Preheat oven to 350' F
Slice the bread rolls into 1/2" slices. Butter both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes per side or until lightly golden and dry. You might have to do this in stages. Set aside to cool.
In a large saucepan, combine water, piloncillo, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. This is what we're calling you're syrup. Remove from heat and let steep for 2 hours. Pour through a strainer and discard the cinnamon and cloves.
Spray an 8x10 baking dish with cooking spray. Layer the ingredients in this order: 1/3 of the toasted bread, 1/3 of the raisins, 1/3 of the cheese. Pour 1 1/2 cups of your syrup over everything. Let set for 15 minutes. Repeat two more times.
Once everything has set for its last 15 minutes, spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover your pudding.
Bake at 350' for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm.
This was soooo good! I love maple and brown sugar. I love bread. I love cheese. And all this works together so very well. The bottom layers of bread are soaked in syrup...YUM. The top layer is adds a great texture...the raisins, well you can't have bread pudding (of any kind) without those. I think this would be a wonderful dish for Christmas.
I'm participating in the Muy Bueno Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef