Hawaiian Bread Pudding

Ono Hawaiian Bread Pudding and Big City Diner

Hawaiian Bread Pudding

In case you missed it, I live in Honolulu, about a mile away from Waikiki beach. Yes, that was a full on humble brag. I’m poor. There’s not a lot to brag about. Being in the middle of the ocean at one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations has a few drawbacks, though. As in, everything is so so so expensive. We usually eat in which is great because I love to cook, but that can sometimes be just as pricey. Our favorite spot for a relaxed meal without a ridiculous price tag is definitely Big City Diner.

Breakfast at BCD

They’re open for for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, though sadly, you can’t get the breakfast menu all day. They serve all the typical diner fare, but you can also get some dishes with a local twist, like fried noodles or loco moco. Their specials change weekly, so there’s always something new on the menu. And they have awesome weeknight deals to make things even cheaper.

Drinks at BCD

We love the family friendly, laid back atmosphere. The service is extremely friendly and quite fast. Our favorites are the burgers, of course, (we’ll do a Burgerology post on Big City Diner in the future), but they also have a tasty grilled ham and cheese, and awesome cinnamon French toast. We visit three of their many locations on a fairly regular basis. It’s our go to restaurant in Waikiki, and we’ll definitely be telling you more about this place in the future.

Hawaiian Bread Pudding

This has been a rather long preamble to get me to the thing I most want to share, my island inspired bread pudding. They have a dessert like this on the menu at Big City Diner, but this is my own personal take. Bread pudding is extra awesome because you get to use up leftover bread that might otherwise be wasted. And this one is studded with pineapple and macadamia nuts and topped with a coconut rum creme anglaise. (I actually got someone drunk on this sauce once. The circumstances were bizarre indeed, and not likely to be repeated.) The warm custardy bread and the cold boozy sauce are the perfect juxtaposition.  It’s so ono!

If you’re on our island, be sure and visit Big City Diner, but if you can’t get out here, and you want to create a Hawaiian vacation in your oven, give this bread pudding a try. It’s topped with liquor infused melted ice cream. What could go wrong?

Hawaiian Bread Pudding

 

 

Bread pudding images by Monica Szczupider

Ono Hawaiian Bread Pudding
Serves 4
A bread pudding with a Hawaiian flair
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 250 grams stale Hawaiian sweet bread, cut into cubes (a whole loaf if using King's)
  2. 1 small can pineapple chunks
  3. 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 40 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons dark rum or coconut rum (use the dark rum if you have it, but don't buy it special)
  7. 125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  8. 500 ml (1 cup) whole milk
  9. Coconut rum creme anglaise (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Lightly butter a 2 quart casserole or a nine inch pie pan.
  2. Add your dry bread to the pan. If it's not quite stale, you can leave it out on a wire rack for a while. Mine is always just sort of stale, never truly hard. It's still awesome.
  3. Add the pineapple and macadamia nuts. Try and evenly disperse them around the pan. No need to stir, just let everything settle.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, rum, cream and milk. Pour this over your bread mixture and press the bread down into it to make sure everything is good and squidgy.
  5. Let the bread soak for 20 minutes before putting it in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until everything is puffy, lightly brown, and set.
  6. Let rest until it is just warm. Spoon it onto your plate and drizzle it with plenty of coconut rum creme anglaise.
Notes
  1. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but I recommend reheating it slightly before serving it. The combination of warm bread pudding and cold rum sauce is awesome.
Adapted from Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Coconut Rum Creme Anglaise
Serves 4
A luscious boozy sauce to top your bread pudding or whatever else you find lying around
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Prep Time
14 min
Prep Time
14 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  4. 1/4 cup coconut rum
Instructions
  1. Add the cream, egg yolks, and powdered sugar to a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir constantly for about 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. It will coat the back of a wooden spoon when it's ready. Do not boil.
  3. Stir in the rum until everything is smooth.
  4. Pour it through a sieve into a container, then chill in the fridge until ready to use. (You can skip the straining, but I find it catches any stray bits of overcooked egg yolk and assures your sauce is super smooth. I'm not an expert, so I can use the help.)
Adapted from Bahama Breeze
Adapted from Bahama Breeze
http://awesomeon20.com/

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

Picnic Week: Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

The long weekend is so close, I can almost taste it. School is ending. It seems the sun is finally shining on the mainland. Summer is about to arrive. It’s calling to you to get out and enjoy a feast on a blanket.

Here are a few quick do’s and don’t’s for your picnic.

  • Do invite all your friends. Especially if their parents own the best Chinese restaurant in town.
Hee Hing Snack Box of Awesomeness
Hee Hing has my favorite maunapua!
  • Don’t put your grill on a plastic picnic table. That’s just ruins it for everyone else.
  • Do put your wine or cocktail in your Starbucks reusable cup. It’s more stylish, more discreet, and it doesn’t waste plastic. And it has a lid, in case you get carried away.
  • Don’t leave a mess. You’re not Don and Betty Draper. Also, if you live in a city, there’s probably someone hanging around who would be happy to have your recyclables and any leftover food. They need it more than you.
  • Do pick a spot with a view of the epic South Shore swell. (Actually, anywhere beautiful will do.)

South Shore Swell

And most definitely DO bring giant chocolate chip cookies. There’s nothing like watching people’s eyes light up when you show them the size of these babies. It doesn’t matter what age they are; they’re excited. This is my go to chocolate chip cookie. It’s soft and dense in the center and loaded with chocolate.

I love this recipe by who else, Nigella Lawson. My favorite thing is that it’s made with melted butter, so you don’t have to plan ahead. The only thing her recipe was missing is a nice fat pinch of salt. Trust me. It’s essential to making these cookies taste like heaven.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I hope your long weekend is filled with laughter and sunshine, and I hope it tastes like cookies.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 15
A dense and chocolaty cookie nearly the size of your face
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 150 grams (2/3 cup) butter
  2. 125 grams (5/8 cup) brown sugar
  3. 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 egg yolk
  7. 300 grams (2-1/2 cups) flour
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1-1/2 tsp salt
  10. 326 grams (12 ounces) chocolate chips (I like to mix it up with milk, semi-sweet, and dark chocolate. Whatever you have on hand.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 340 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter and let it cool for a bit. I use the microwave in 30 second intervals. Get it all melted, then go check Facebook for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the brown and white sugar in a mixing bowl, then pour the melted butter over them and beat them together with your mixer or a strong arm.
  4. Add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and beat until creamy and smooth.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Finally, fold in the chocolate.
  7. Using your 1/4 cup measure, scoop out the cookie dough onto your parchment-lined baking sheet. Give them plenty of space to spread out. I make mine six at a time. You may need to stash your dough in the fridge between batches.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan for five minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Pack them up to share with friends. They’ll be so impressed.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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Lemon Polenta Cake

Lemon Polenta Cake (Gluten-Free)

Lemon Polenta Cake

My husband bought us the most wonderful present the other day. Really it’s for his chameleon, but I like to pretend it’s for me. I just can’t wait until it starts working its magic.

Little Lemon Tree

We now have our very own lemon tree! It’s being protected from the chickens so they don’t try and eat all the leaves off of it before it has a chance to fulfill it’s mission of giving me luscious beautiful fresh lemons. I used to live in a country where lemons were nearly impossible to find, so they’re rather precious to me.

Lemon Polenta Cake

I’m so in love with our baby tree that I absolutely had to share this lemon polenta cake. Can you keep a secret? This cake is gluten free. Whatevs. It’s totally delicious and lemony and heavenly with an amazing texture.

Cornmeal plus lemon syrup equals sweet sticky cake of magnificence.

And it’s all mature and sophisticated with it’s frostingless simplicity, so you can pretend to be an adult when you serve it. It’s stunning even in its lack of decadence.

Lemon Polenta Cake

I can’t wait until we have our first backyard lemons. I’ll probably do a little dance. What else can I make with them?

Lemon Polenta Cake (Gluten-Free)
Yields 1
A simple and delicious lemon cake that's naturally gluten free
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
for the cake
  1. 200 grams (1-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  2. 200 grams (1 cup) sugar
  3. 200 grams (2 cups) ground almonds
  4. 100 grams (3/4 cup) cornmeal
  5. 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 3 eggs
  7. zest of 2 lemons
for the syrup
  1. juice of 2 lemons
  2. 125 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar
for the cake
  1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and grease the sides with butter
  2. Preheat your oven to 350.
  3. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine the almonds, cornmeal, and baking powder in a separate bowl, then mix a third of the mixture into the butter and sugar. Add an egg and combine. Continue alternating dry ingredients and eggs until everything is combined.
  5. Finally mix in the lemon zest.
  6. Transfer the batter to your pan and bake for 40 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  8. In a small saucepan, boil the lemon juice and powdered sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  9. With a toothpick, prick tiny holes in your cake, then pour the syrup over the cake and let it sink in.
  10. Once cool, remove the collar from your pan. Serve a big wedge with wine and experience pure joy.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

Cake images by Monica Szczupider

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