Foodiva's Kitchen: Dragonfruit and Coconut-Lime Bread Pudding

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dragonfruit and Coconut-Lime Bread Pudding


“Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.”


- Charles Pierre Monselet, French journalist


It's that time of the year and red-fleshed dragonfruit has made its appearance in the markets once again here. How long I have waited for you to return.... you fushia-pink, non-fire-snorting ball of juiciness! The dragonfruit is in time to be part of this recipe I've created especially for The Bread Pudding of the Month Club. My friend, Victoria over at Mission: Food hosts this monthly event and if any of you have made/are going to make a bread pudding dish this month, please do hop over there and join us!


In my previous recipes using dragonfruit, I mentioned that on its own, the fruit has very little flavor. Almost like a watered-down kiwi, with a similar texture when it's ripe. Because of this, I flavored the custard out of coconut milk and lime to give the bread pudding some tangible character. The dragonfruit was not completely hopeless because its flesh, when blended with the custard, gave the pudding its striking fushia-pink hue that turned to a baby pink color once cooked.


For as long as I can remember, I've held the perception that bread pudding of any kind and flavoring can only be enjoyed fully after a light meal of salad and... well, just salad. Many times when I've had a hearty main course plus appetizer, I've had to turn up my willpower and turn away this filling dessert. Even as my heart screams, "I WAAAANT!". Okay, I tell a white lie. Sometimes I do have a bite, but I can't really get into it, you know, because I'm so full by that time. If only the serving portions were smaller in the restaurants...

Wait, if I was the one making them, I could make them in a size my stomach can handle. So how does mini-bread pudding sound to you? Because that's exactly what I made. My individual portions were so 'mini' they were the size of a small teacup (150ml capacity). No danger of over-indulging here! And once the puddings were turned out for serving, they even fitted nicely on the saucer, just like a cup.


You can, of course, fashion the bread slices into any shape or cube it and dump it all in the ramekins without any grand order. I decided to cut my bread into rounds and arranged them stacked on top of each other in the ramekin. The smaller circles formed a flower-like pattern on top. Tastes the same, just looks prettier. Oh, such visual animals we all are....

Barbie would love these figure-friendly portions

Instead of serving the bread pudding with cream or any type of sauce, I decided to top it off with fresh fruit. Yes, more dragonfruit! You can save all the trouble by simply chopping and sprinkling the fruits on top of the pudding, but.... I served them as dragonfruit balls skewered with toothpicks and stacked upright on top of the pudding. The fruit balls were chilled in the fridge beforehand, so when you eat this, you can feel their juicy coolness against the warmth of the bread pudding on your palate. Three dessert fork-scoops later, my portion of mini-bread pudding was all gone. To quote Goldilocks, "It was just right".

                                                                            Baby pink love
Dragonfruit Bread Pudding on a saucer. Enjoy!

Dragonfruit and Coconut-Lime Bread Pudding
Makes: 4 small ramekins (150ml capacity)

Ingredients:
6-8 slices stale bread, cubed or cut into circles with cookie cutter
1/2 cup dragonfruit, chopped roughly
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 lime, juice only
Vegetable oil, for greasing
1/2 of a dragonfruit, scooped into balls for topping

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 325F/165C. Fill a 9x9-inch baking tin with water halfway up and place on the middle rack in the oven. This will be the water bath.
2. Line the base of ramekins with cooking foil and brush their insides with vegetable oil to grease. Arrange the bread circles or cubes in each ramekin until it reaches the top. Set aside while you prepare the custard.
3. In a blender, add the chopped dragonfruit, coconut milk, egg and sugar and process until smooth. Pour this mixture over the bread in the ramekins and press the bread pieces down with the back of a spoon. Squeeze or drizzle a splash of lime juice over the top layer.
4. Carefully arrange the filled ramekins inside the preheated water bath and bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are just browned. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. To turn out, run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekin and invert onto a small plate. Invert again onto a dessert plate so that the browned layer is on top.
5. For the fresh fruit topping, use a melon scooper to form about 8 balls from the dragonfruit flesh. Take 2 balls and skewer them with a toothpick. Press this fruit skewer on top of a bread pudding and serve immediately.



28 comments:

Sandra said...

What a beautiful color, and interesting bread pudding! Love your presentation, you always menage to make me drool:)))
Great photos and tutorial!

Foodiva said...

Thanks Sandra! I didn't have to do much, the dragonfruit contributed to much of the beauty of this dish ;-).

Evan Thomas said...

These have great presentation and such unique flavors--great job!

Angela FRS said...

Beautiful. I can never find dragonfruit around here, and this is just stunning. Have to see if I can find it in Denver.

the [sugar] apothecary said...

Oh my. That color automatically makes me think of the Pink Panther :) The tea-cup sized portions are a great idea! I always end up being way too full after dinner, so that sounds just about perfect.

yummychunklet said...

What amazing colors (and flavors) in this pudding! Impressive!

Raji said...

The colour of the pudding is beautiful and the presentation is wow!!!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Cool, I have tasted the fruit and found it bland but now I am inspired to cook with it. The presentation is amazing

Foodiva said...

Evelyne, you're right. On its own, dragonfruit doesn't taste much of anything, but that's where you can get creative and add on other flavors to your dish. The dragonfruit will give the vibrant color, which draws you right in!

Adora's Box said...

What a stunning pudding. Haven't tried dragon fruit before. It is so beautiful. I love the lime and coconut flavour. Wonderful photos.

Carolyn said...

So wild! I have never had dragonfruit, but what a great way to use it!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Very creative! I love the color of your bread pudding and the dragon fruit. I have only tasted the while flesh ones and the taste is really quite mild.

lena said...

great idea to serve them in minis, with such great looking puddings, i can have 2 minis!

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

What a colorful dessert in individual cups! A dream pudding if you ask me! I saw red dragonfruit in Bangkok once and never found them again anywhere. Vietnam is known to produce them for export but mainly white ones. Where do you get red dragonfruit? With all the wonderful fruit you have, I have to say, I think your kitchen is just a stone's throw away from paradise! Cheers!!!

Victoria said...

Lovely addition to this month's club! I love how you cut the bread into small circles and made it look like a flower :) Great presentation, and I too love individually sized desserts. Less guilt... kinda, haha.

aipi said...

These look so amazing! I so wish I could try one :)
Great colors n the pics are gorgeous too ..
US Masala

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious looking colourful bread pudding

Juliana said...

Beautiful presentation of the bread pudding...the colors are just so pretty. Very exotic flavors. Have a great week Foodiva :-)

Foodiva said...

Thanks everyone!

Victoria, happy to join the club again. And this time, well prepared ;-).

Arthur@Michelangelo, the dragonfruits I buy here are from Malaysia. We're just next door neighbors, you know :-).

penny aka jeroxie said...

You just managed to make dragonfruit desirable to me. Stunning.

fromBAtoParis said...

Woww! I just love the new layout, photos, congrats!!

Michael Toa said...

ahh.. it's that time again... the bread pudding! My favourite. This bread pudding looks stunning! I adore dragon fruit. Fantastic entry Maya. I have to get baking soon :)

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

That is absolutely the sexiest bread pudding EVER!!!

Spicie Foodie said...

Too cute! I've been wanting to give Dragonfruit a taste, they started showing up here last year. They sound yummy and like a good ingredient to experiment with. I love the small size of your bread pudding. Just enough to satisfy the sweet craving without over doing it. Another winner Maya.

Diethood.com said...

Beautiful presentation! Makes me want to fly through my screen and eat it up. :)

elle marie said...

It's been way to long since I've had dragon fruit.. where is it most popular?

Umm Mymoonah said...

A different take to the bread pudding, my daughter will love the pinky colour of this pudding.

Magic of Spice said...

Just beautiful and I am sure must be delicious, looks like it's going to be a great line up :)

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