Foodiva's Kitchen: Blackberry Bread Pudding with Bamboo Charcoal Bread and Poached Pear, and Giveaway Winner!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blackberry Bread Pudding with Bamboo Charcoal Bread and Poached Pear, and Giveaway Winner!

Here's a slightly alien-looking bread pudding I made. Alien not in the way of flavors, but in the type of bread used. It's greyish-black and made with bamboo charcoal powder. The bakeries sell these breads here, they come as sliced loaves, burger or hot dog buns. Bamboo charcoal is supposedly good for health, as it helps clean up toxins in our body. If you can get past the psychological hurdle of eating this healthy version of 200-day-old bread, there really isn't any difference in taste to regular bread. It's just like eating Century Egg...easy once you've prepared yourself mentally, that is :-).


 Right: Bamboo charcoal buns, cut into 1cm-wide strips





I thought this would be a good (albeit unsual) contribution to the Bread Pudding of the Month Club initiated by my friend, Victoria of Mission: Food. I wanted to play a little with the colors, flavors and textures of this bread pudding so I made a blackberry custard that gave a pop of purple, poached some pears in more blackberry juice as well as nutmeg and rosemary, and lastly created a crispy topping from the pear skin.

 Purple on black

Now you may not be able to get bamboo charcoal bread where you are, but if you do one day, it's worth giving this bread pudding recipe a go. The custard ingredients can be changed to something else of course, as that will determine the main flavor of the dessert. The dark hues from the bread will provide the mystery and a talking point. Oh and let's not forget the pear topping....juicy and crispy at the same time. I never knew fried pear skin can taste so audaciously lovely!

 Keep the peeled pear skin, crisp it up and use it as a garnish for a bit of crunch!

 Poach pear in blackberry, nutmeg and rosemary mixture


Before I sign off, a big thank you to all of you who participated in my Polvoron mold giveaway. I assigned each comment a number and ran the numbers through Random.org. We have a winner and I'm so happy to announce that she's no. 27!

True Random Number Generator Min: 1  Max: 43        Result: 27 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Who is that? Well, it's Lizzy from That Skinny Chick Can Bake! Congrats Lizzy, I'll be in touch soon. :-)


Blackberry Bread Pudding with Bamboo Charcoal Bread and Poached Pear

Blackberry Bread Pudding
Serves: 2
4 bamboo charcoal buns, sliced into strips
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Arrange the bread strips inside two well-buttered heatproof bowls or ramekins (1.5 cup capacity). Set aside.
2. In a blender, blend the blackberries, sugar, milk, egg and vanilla until smooth. Strain mixture to remove seeds.
3. Spoon the mixture carefully over the bread strips, making sure the blackberry custard seeps in between the strips all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Use a small fork or toothpick to gently shift the bread to allow the custard to pass pass through. Leave to soak for about 20 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Fill a deep baking pan halfway up with water and place the bread pudding containers carefully inside. Slide the baking pan into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top of the pudding puffs up slightly and is set. Remove and leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. To garnish, add poached pear on top and sprinkle with with pear skin crisps.

Poached pears
2 firm whole pears, cored and peeled
1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup water
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1. Core the pear through the bottom and slice off the top of the pip/core by sliding a knife halfway through the side of the pear (see above photo). Remove core by twisting at the base with a small fork or tweezer.
2. Peel the pears and slice skin thinly. I used a lemon zester that peels and juliennes the skin simultaneously. Reserve the skin for frying (see below).
3. Blend blackberries, water, sugar and spices until smooth, strain to remove seeds and pour into a small, deep pan. Bring mixture to the boil on high heat, then add the pears. Lower the heat to medium and poach the pears for 45 minutes until soft, turning the pears over every 10 minutes or so. Leave to cool thoroughly or place in the fridge for at least an hour to chill before serving.

Pear skin crisps
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/2 cup pear skin

1. Warm the olive oil or butter in a small pan on medium-high heat, saute the pear skin for 3-4 minutes.
2. Stir constantly until the skin turns crispy, then remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain excess oil by placing skin on a paper towel. Leave to cool.
3. Divide the pear skin crisps into two portions and sprinkle on top of the two bread puddings.

27 comments:

Lizzy said...

Hooray!!!! What a way to start the day :) Thank you, Maya!

Now on to your delightful bread pudding...made with such a unique bread...and topped with a gorgeous pear....mmmmm. Your pear photos are magazine worthy...just lovely!

Three-Cookies said...

The bread looks really exotic/special! Never seen anything like that. Regular bread left sitting for 200 days will start to look like that though it may add toxins:)

Foodiva said...

Lizzy, I know you'll have fun with those plunger molds! Just remember to post something up when you make lovely edible goodies with them ;-). Enjoy!

Foodiva said...

@Three Cookies, you are too right...and so funny with it!

Spicie Foodie said...

Hi Maya, It's too funny I also posted a bread pudding recipe today. I came over to get the link for one of your older bread pudding recipes and saw this beauty today:) The color contrast is so gorgeous and bamboo charcoal bread is definitely something I'd love to try. Thanks for the tip on the pear skin too, you are brilliant. The whole pudding just looks so delicious and vibrant. Love it!

Kristen said...

I am so intrigued by the charcoal bread. What an unusual creation. I love the idea of a blackberry custard. Usually the berries are just another addition to the pudding, but putting them right into the egg mixture sounds great!

Foodiva said...

Nancy, how cool is that? Our foodie minds are telepathically-linked! LOL. Thanks for linking up our posts too, btw. I'm a bit daft in this, you have to teach me how. ;-)

Foodiva said...

Kristen, you can still taste the blackberry flavor when it's blended with the custard and that's why I added them this way. Besides, they gave off a lovely purple contrast to the black bread that I couldn't resist!

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

THose pears look yummylicious, you can eat them by just looking at them :)) great way to start the week! XoXo

Carolyn said...

You really introduce me to some of the most fascinating foods. Love it!

Sarah said...

Whoa...this looks incredible! I love the blackberry pudding and the bamboo charcoal bread is fascinating...then topped with a poached pear?!? Stunning.

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Wow... that charcoal bread is something else! It does take a little time getting used to but you are so right about it being like century eggs :) I grew up with century eggs and so I do not find it strange but it may be to others.

Another unique bread pudding! I like the fruit and bread combination. Congrats to Lizzy!

Victoria said...

Another fabulous and unique addition to the club! Love this crazy bread :) What a fun alternative to white bread. The poached pears on top are a fun touch as well!

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

First, congrats to Lizzy! And onto your pudding. This is really WOW! to me. I have never seen the charcoal bread and it's soooo interesting! It's so hard to find a food that's this color, and it's bread! How cool is that. Your poached pears look delicious by themselves too... what a beautiful dessert. I really love this Maya!

Adora's Box said...

Wow! This dessert is amazing on so many different levels. This is the first time I've heard or seen charcoal bread. Very interesting. The pear must taste amazing after being poached with blackberries and spices. Then to top it all, the pear skin crisps.

yummychunklet said...

Love the purple on black photo! Great post!

Christine's Pantry said...

Wow! This dessert looks wonderful!

Congrats to Lizzy.

sara @ CaffeIna said...

Bamboon Charcoal powder? Never heard of it but it sound and look fantastic! I love the "alien" appearance. The greyish of the bread with the purple makes this bread pudding just so unique!

Foodiva said...

Victoria, you know I always enjoy contributing to your Bread Pudding of the Month Club. It motivates me to be creative (read: crazy) with my recipes and now I realise, bread puddings don't have to be stereotypical in taste nor appearance!

Foodiva said...

Nami, Adora and Sara, bamboo charcoal bread is all the rage in Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Well, it's been a couple of years now but I still find the appearance of the bread fascinating! If you go to certain health stores or online, you may be able to get bamboo charcoal powder and bake your own bread. :-)

Jenny (VIntageSugarcube) said...

I want to vacation in Brunei just to sample all of these delicacies I haven't had the pleasure to try YET!!! :)

Emily Malloy said...

Yes, please.

I'll take 12.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

What an awesome black bread. Bamboo charcoal? The intense color combo is amazing, and the poached pear..OMG.

Foodiva said...

Jenny, then you'd better free up some vacation time next year because you're coming HERE and we'll have bamboo charcoal bread for breakfast! ;-)

Foodiva said...

Emily...haha! You crack me up!

Foodiva said...

Eveyne, thanks so much. I'm kind of surprised not many people outside Asiahave heard of bamboo charcoal bread, as it's quite common here.

Indie.Tea said...

I'm one of those that haven't heard of bamboo charcoal bread. I'm really curious about - sounds interesting.
And what a creative and interesting bread pudding.

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