Individual Vanilla Chai Bread Pudding with a Bourbon Sauce Topping
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I never used to have a sweet tooth. I'd easily pass up on the flourless chocolate cake or the Dulce de Leche pudding. Taking second helpings of the savory has always been my "sweet ending" to any indulgent meal. Definitely not one of those women who swoons over all things sugary and sweet, I wasn't even super stoked about my wedding cake tasting - a step in the wedding planning process that most gals get all sorts of giddy over.
I don't know what's going on, but lately, I've been craving the sweet stuff. Terrible timing too, since I'm dedicated as ever to my wedding diet. Luckily for me, there are some delightful ways to "cheat" once or twice a week in a matter that won't have me feeling terribly guilty. Take for instance, some natural sweeteners on the market today. One of my current favorites is Truvia. With 75% fewer calories than regular sugar, I can use the stuff to make a few weekly "splurges" like homemade hot chocolate on a cold winer night or a heavenly gluten-free and low calorie french toast on a late Sunday morning.
I can also make my favorite dessert of all - a dessert that even throughout my sweet toothless years could get me drooling. Warm bread pudding. Good lord, how this decadent baked casserole cures the worst kind of day.
I've made bread pudding a handful of times in recent years. Usually sticking to classic recipes with an ungodly amount of sugar and butter, it's no wonder the delectable dessert is so mouth-watering. But I decided to change it up a bit this time around. A slightly healthier bread pudding, if you will. With Truvia baking blend instead of the usual white cane sugar, unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of the whole milk, sourdough bread instead of a french loaf, and a sweet and spicy addition of Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea, I put a lovely little spin on this southern staple.
Bigelow's Vanilla Chai tea is already a must-have item in my pantry. I don't know if it's that kick of spice I love in each sip - or if I just feel awfully mature and sophisticated when I drink tea. Either way, the stuff just had to go in my revamped bread pudding.Oh, and I must mention....these beauties have one killer Kentucky bourbon sauce drizzled on top. As if they needed any sort of flavor boost at all....
Individual Vanilla Chai Bread Pudding with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce
1 small loaf Sourdough baguette, set out overnight (if possible) and cut in 1-inch cubes
4 cups unsweetened almond milk (feel free to use milk or half and half)
1/2 cup Truvia natural sweetener-baking blend (or 1 cup regular sugar)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 stick melted butter, plus extra for greasing the ramekins
4 Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea bags
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Truvia sugar (or 1 cup regular sugar)
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
1) Brew the tea bags in the almond milk. In a medium saucepan, add the almond milk and the tea bags. Bring to a very light boil, stirring and pushing on the tea bags with a spoon occasionally. Remove from heat and let col completely - about 20 minutes.
2) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. With a large bowl, whisk the eggs, melted butter, Truvia, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and chai tea infused almond milk together.
3) Place the bread cubes in another bowl and gradually pour the mixture on top. Depending on the size of your sourdough loaf, you may not need the entire wet mixture. You don't want it to be super soupy. Pour and stir in the mixture until the bread cubes are liberally coated. Let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Grease ramekins with a little bit of butter or baking spray. Spoon the bread pudding into each ramekin, packing the bread cubes in tight. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bread pudding has completely set.
5) When bread pudding has 5 minutes left to bake, prepare the bourbon sauce. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until thickened. Then, using a small pan, melt the butter with the sugar. Heat on low until caramel in color. Pour the butter and sugar in with the beaten egg yolks and continue beating until thickened. Stir in bourbon.
6) Remove bread puddings from the oven. Let sit for 5 minutes. Pour bourbon sauce on top and serve.
I purchased both Bigelow Tea and Truvia sugar from my local Target. See below for to see where I found the products at my local store as well as coupons for Truvia natural sweetener.
1) Cartwheel CTA - Save 10% on your purchase of any package of Truvía® Natural Sweetener, Truvía® Baking Blend or Truvía® Brown Sugar Blend with Target Cartwheel. If you are not signed up, visit cartwheel.target.com or download the Cartwheel mobile app to join and start saving today!
2) 2-Pack Sample CTA - If you would like to try Truvía® Natural Sweetener before purchasing, please request your free sample at Truvia.com today!