Time for the Shh Cooking Secret Challenge for this month! I am paired with Priyaakka, who runs two blogs, her ever-popular one and another evolving one – I don’t need to say how excited I am to have her as my partner. Despite being such a seasoned blogger, she is a down-to-earth humble soul, who is always willing to help. In fact, she was one of my inspirations to start blogging. Of late, since she is looking out for her career, her blogging is a little slow, still she blogs at least four times a week. Prior to this, I would suggest to just take a look at the amount of recipes, especially her breads, she has on her blog – simply mind-blowing! I wish I would have the same zest to continue cooking and blogging just like her, InShaAllah… 🙂 The theme for this month was “Monsoon Treats” and the ingredients Priyakka gave me were corn flour and nuts of my choice…
All of a sudden, the only thing that popped into my mind was this delicious and creamy Lebanese style bread pudding. One thing with Arabic sweet dishes is that they use a lot of cornflour and rice flour as thickening agent and a lot of nuts as far as garnishing is concerned. If you ask me some of my favorites, then it has to be Muhallabiah, Umm Ali and Layali Lubnan. Let me add one more to the list – and it is this one. This dessert is nothing but toasted bread topped with a creamy milk custard and lavishly sprinkled with crushed pistachios. As you enjoy the cream and chew the sugar syrup soaked toasted bread, the feeling is amazing. This dessert had the folks at home asking for more and InShaAllah, hoping to make this more frequently, as this is so easy to put together! The best part about it is that you don’t necessarily need to chill the dessert. Just allow it to come to room temperature so that the custard is a little steady, cut up your portion onto a plate, pair it with some black coffee and enjoy it while watching the rains!
So there you go – a “monsoon treat” with cornflour and nuts (pistachios) going into this one… By the way, I was just wondering, last time also I got nuts as one of the ingredients and ended up using pistachios in it as well! Hehe… Off to the recipe…
Yes, I really couldn’t resist having a spoonful while clicking the above! 😉
Aish el Saraya ~ Lebanese Bread Pudding
- 8 slice of bread
- Chopped pistachios for garnishing
- FOR SIMPLE SYRUP:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp rosewater
- FOR CREAM BASE:
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 2/3 cup cream
- 2 1/2 tbsp corn flour
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp rose water
- 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water
- Cut the sides of the bread and layer on a 8 inch glass.
- Bake in a preheat oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes or till toasted.
- Meanwhile, put the sugar in a pan and sprinkle some water on it.
- Keep it on low flame till the sugar caramelizes.
- Pour in the water. As it boils, the caramel gets hard, but don't worry. As the water boils, it will melt in.
- Switch off the flame and add the rose water. Allow to cool slightly and then pour over the baked bread. Allow it to soak up.
- In a saucepan, mix the cream and a cup of the milk along with the sugar. Bring the mixture to heat.
- In the other half of the milk, add the cornflour and mix. As the milk cream mix starts heating, add in the cornflour mixture and cook till the mixture thickens.
- Switch off and add the rosewater and the orange blossom water.
- Mix and pour over the bread. Cover with a cling film, allow it to come to room temperature.
- Serve as is or after cooling it in the fridge.
If you don't have cream, up the quantity of milk for the equal quantity and increase the quantity of cornflour by 1 tbsp, so that you get a thicker custard.
You can serve this dessert at room temperature or after setting it further in the fridge - either way, it is delicious!