Your kind words and support have made me feel like it's time to come out of the woodwork and cook up something nice for you. Think of it as my Thank You :-).
I also feel that I need to fulfill some obligations to fellow bloggers this month. The first is the Bread Pudding of the Month Club hosted by my lovely friend, Victoria at Mission Food. Anyone who has made bread pudding during the month of March is invited to link up to her event, and I'd greatly encourage you to check it out before the month is out, soon! This is my contribution: Vanilla Rooibos with Coconut and Macadamia Bread Pudding, topped with White Chocolate Cream Sauce.
I first discovered this blend of Vanilla Rooibos tea when I stayed at an upscale serviced apartment in Virginia last year. The housekeeping ladies, bless them, left out fresh fruits, pastries and the most amazing coffees and teas for their guests every morning and I guess that was where I got hooked on this rich and full-bodied tea with a creamy vanilla finish. This organically-grown Rooibos is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is a naturally caffeine-free infusion, so it was only inevitable that I cargoed home boxes of the stuff when I left Virginia! They're distributed by Tealeaves.com, in case you're interested.
Since I love the heavenly aroma, I decided to flavor my bread pudding with Vanilla-Rooibos and wrapped the bread with coconut and macadamia to give a lush, tropical feel to it. But that's not all, top the warm pudding with a white chocolate cream sauce and you know you've arrived in the big leagues when you take a bite out of this. It's called the Power of Attraction, don't you know?
Here's the step-by-step, folks:
Bringing up the rear for another event, please head out to Your Best Recipes hosted by the lovely, uber-accomplished Nancy of Spicie-Foodie. My best recipe for February was my Valentine's Cupid's Cobbler made of plums, cream biscuits and rose-basil seed cream! Check out her site for other participants' contributions or send her your best recipe before the end of March. Gosh, I just realise that I haven't got any recipe, let alone a best one, for March! But there are a few days left, and there's hope yet....
2 organic Vanilla Rooibos teabags
1 litre milk
1/2 cup palm sugar, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 slices stale bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup sweetened dried coconut slivers, chopped finely
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped finely
Butter, for greasing pan
White Chocolate Cream Sauce
200g white chocolate
200ml heavy cream
1. Butter a shallow baking dish (1-2 inch deep) and set aside.
2. Flatten each bread slice with a rolling pin and use the rest of the butter to spread on one side of the bread slice.
3. Spoon about a teaspoon each of chopped coconut and macadamia on top of a buttered slice, then roll the slice tightly to form a cylinder. Cut each cylinder into three 1-inch long slices and arrange the circles tightly (cut-side up) on the base of the baking dish in one layer. Do this with all the bread slices until the dish is full. Set aside while you make the custard.
4. Place the milk and vanilla rooiboos teabags in a pan and heat until just starting to boil, stirring constantly to prevent the milk from burning. Remove from heat while you prepare the egg mixture.
5. Whisk eggs and palm sugar in a small bowl, then add a cup of the warm milk and beat further. Pour this mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk and stir until it just starts to simmer. Remove the teabags.
6. Carefully spoon the custard onto the bread slices until they are completely soaked and the custard reaches the rim of the baking dish. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes. Drizzle with white chocolate-cream sauce before serving.
7. For the sauce, simply warm the cream in a pan on medium-low heat and add the white chocolate until completely melted. Use immediately.