My impression of bread pudding recipes is that they are for using up stale bread by adding milk/cream, eggs and butter to soften it. According to O&H Danish Bakery, this is a fairly accurate impression. It is initially known as “poor man’s pudding,” as it was popular with the lower class in England. They are no longer just for the poor.
The basic structure of the pudding involves layering cut or torn pieces of bread in a dish, pouring a custard sauce over the layers and baking it in the oven.
I always find them too sweet until I tried some on a Royal Caribbean cruise buffet spread. It was light and refreshing. I had seconds. Now, I am game to try different variations of this sweet bread dessert, especially those that feature tropical ingredients.
These 5 bread pudding recipes feature Southeast Asian ingredients like kaya (coconut egg jam), gula Melaka (palm sugar), coconut milk, condensed milk, pandan leaves, candied pineapple and banana.
1. Kaya Bread Pudding Recipe
A bread pudding recipe featuring a local jam called kaya.
Kaya is Singapore’s answer to jam. It is a spread made with coconut milk, egg and sugar. It is the first time I see it used in a bread pudding.
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 2 pandan leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 heaped tablespoon kaya
- 6 slices white bread
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 170 degree celsius
- Tie the 2 pandan leaves together in a big knot
- In a small pan, heat coconut milk with the pandan leaves and salt
- Bring to a simmer, stirring often, and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely
- Spread kaya over the slices of bread and sandwich the slices together
- Cut the sandwiches into four triangles each
- Arrange the triangles in a casserole dish
- Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk till well combined
- Remove the pandan leaves from the coconut milk. Pour the coconut milk and fresh milk into the bowl of eggs and mix to combine.
- Pour this mixture over the bread. Push the bread back down if it floats to the top of the dish. Leave to soak for 30 minutes
- Place the casserole dish on a baking tray lined with foil
- Baked in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the slices of bread at the top of the dish start to turn golden brown and crisp
2. Thai Coffee Bread Pudding Recipe
A bread pudding recipe featuring condensed milk, espresso powder, cardamon, and cinnamon. Cooked up by Maria Del Mar Cuadra.
3. Gula Melaka Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe
This recipe is shared by Sarah Huang Benjamin at the Asian Food Network.
It features gula Melaka, which is Malay for Malacca sugar. It is a traditional sweet condiment made from boiling down the liquid collected from the cut stem of immature palm flower stalks. That’s right, it is palm sugar.
4. Singapore Tropical Bread Pudding Recipe
Designed by Li from HINTS FOR THE HOME.
This recipe caught my attention because it uses pandan-flavoured bread. Pandan is extracted from the pandan plant and it is a popular Southeast Asian flavour.
Juice extracted from leaves is used to add fragrance to various types of teas and desserts. The leaves are not consumed, but are removed from the dish before serving. The chlorophyll pigments in the leaves will also colour foods green.
Besides pandan-flavoured bread, this recipe also features gula Melaka, coconut milk, and candied pineapple. It has very detailed instructions with accompanying photos.
5. Vietnamese Coconut Bread and Butter Pudding
This recipe, designed by Luke Nguyen of Asian Food Network fame, features sweet finger banana, unsweetened coconut flakes, and condensed milk.