I love bread pudding but when I saw a recipe for it that called for cheddar cheese, I was a bit dubious. Cheddar cheese isn’t normally an ingredient one equates with the popular bread based dessert whose other ingredients include sugar, vanilla, spices and alcohol if you’re really wild. But it was from one of my favorite cookbooks, Best Ever Mexican-A Collection of Over 100 Essential Recipes and so I decided to give it a try since the book’s recipes have never failed me in the past taste wise that is.
The results? Different but good! And the best part about bread pudding is that it usually is a pretty simple dessert to prepare. So try it out and let me know what you thought of it, specifically-could you taste the queso (cheese)?
Mexican Bread Pudding
2 oz butter, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 cups water
generous 1 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken
1 tsp ground anise
1/3 cup raisins
10 small slices bread
3/4 cups shelled pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
6 oz mild Cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease an ovenproof dish.
Heat the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and anise in a pan over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Add the raisins and let simmer for 5 minutes without stirring.
Spread butter onto one side of each bread slice and arrange buttered-side up on a baking sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn over and bake the other side for 5 minutes.
Line the base of the ovenproof dish with half the toast. Sprinkle over half the nuts and grated cheese. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick from the raisin mixture, then spoon half of the raisin mixture over the toast. Top with the remaining toast, nuts, grated cheese, and raisin mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until set and golden brown on top.