A delicious Almond Bread Pudding is one of the best bread pudding recipes I have ever made! Made with flaked almonds and almond butter, and served with a warm salted caramel sauce.
I have always loved bread puddings. They are endlessly adaptable to so many flavours and they are great way to use up stale bread. For the most part, I've always thought of them as humble food. This Almond Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce has definitely challenged that thought! It is one of the best bread pudding recipes I have ever made.
This is the queen of bread puddings. Rich brioche bread with a luscious custard and the delicious flavours of almond from almond butter. On the top, a flaked almond topping combines with coarse turbinado sugar for a lovely crisp topping. And as if all of that isn't enough, it's served warm with a salted caramel sauce.
If you are looking for a warm, comforting and wonderfully delicious in so many ways dessert, this is it. It is sure to impress your family or dinner guests!
Cook's Notes for Almond Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
This is a tall bread pudding, so unless you have tall (3 inches high sides) 8-inch round baking pan or something like an 8-inch round tall sided baking dish (Corningware-ish), you will need to use your springform pan. The springform pan is not naturally leak-proof thought, so you absolutely will need to line the inside with parchment that covers the inside bottom and most of the sides with one sheet of parchment. This will hold the custard in the pan and prevent it leaking out the bottom.
If your custard develops small lumps, that is cooked egg and means you added your hot cream to your egg mixture too quickly. The trick to avoid this is to bring the egg mixture temperature up very, very slowly, but adding just a bit of hot to it at a time. It's not a complete deal-breaker though. Simply run the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the lumps.
I have simplified the original recipe by using substituting store-bought almond butter (instead of a homemade version) and using a quick and easy salted caramel sauce. True caramel sauce is a lovely thing, but can often be tricky to make successfully. I find the quick and easy brown sugar, butter and cream version quite satisfying, reliable and easy.
Top Tip! You can make the custard mixture and the caramel sauce ahead and refrigerate. Then it's just the easy assembly you need to do before baking.
Adapted (simplified) from a Food & recipe.
Almond Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
- 12 slices Brioche bread
- 1/2 cup almond butter (unsalted and unsweetened)
- 1 1/4 cups half & half cream (10% b.f.)
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream (35% b.f.)
- 1 tsp vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds
- 2 Tbsp raw sugar (turbinado)
Easy Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 9 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (preferably dark brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (35% b.f.)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
- 1/2 tsp salt (1/4 tsp is using salted butter)
- Powdered sugar (for garnish)
- Ice cream or creme fraiche (if you like)
- Prepare the Custard: Combine creams in a medium saucepan, with the vanilla bean paste. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, eggs, sugar and salt. Add a tiny of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture while continually whisking. Start with a few drops (while whisking), then increase to a slow drizzle (while whisking) and continue to add/whisk until all is added. Cover custard with plastic wrap and let stand 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate if making ahead.
- Prepare an 8-inch round springform pan by spraying the inside with cooking spray, then lining the inside with one sheet of parchment paper that covers the entire bottom and at least halfway up the sides. Set pan inside a larger roasting pan.
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a kettle of boiling water.
- Prepare the Bread: Cut a 3-inch diameter circle out of the centre of each of the 12 bread slices. Take the scraps and tear into smaller pieces. Place into bottom of prepared baking pan in an even layer. Press down slightly to compress.
- Spread almond butter on all of the bread rounds. Place on top of the bread scraps, almond butter side down, in an over-lapping circle around the outside, saving one to place in the centre.
- Pour custard over bread. Sprinkle top with flaked almonds and raw sugar.
- Place baking pan inside of roasting pan into the preheated 350F oven and pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Cover the roasting pan and pudding pan loosely with a tent of aluminum foil.
- For the Caramel Sauce (prepare when the puddings are baking): Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar. Stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour in the cream (will bubble up!) and reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. (Can be made ahead and re-warmed in the microwave before serving)
- Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Remove foil tent and bake a further 10 minutes or so, or until set and golden on top. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes. Remove the outer ring of pan. Gently slide pudding off of parchment onto serving plate.
- To serve: Serve warm pudding with warm caramel sauce. Dust with powdered sugar for garnish and serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche, if you like.