Caramel Bread Pudding
Caramel bread pudding should have a silky interior, crispy top, and deep caramel flavor throughout. We add caramel to the soaking liquid, the bottom of the baking pan, and the top of the bread pudding to ensure ultimate caramel flavor.
Why This Recipe Works
The test kitchen's basic bread pudding recipe starts with soaking stale bread in a custard of egg yolks, heavy cream, and sugar before baking the pudding at a low temperature. This rustic dessert emerges from the oven with a soft, creamy interior and a slightly crunchy crust. We wanted to introduce caramel by adding store-bought caramel sauce to the egg custard, but that made the custard too heavy. Worse, the custard was so sweet that the caramel flavor was barely detectable. For a caramel bread pudding recipe that actually tasted like caramel, we made a simple caramel sauce with brown sugar, butter, cream, and corn syrup—this gave us the prominent caramel flavor we were after. Starting with an additional layer of caramel sauce under the bread pudding as it baked and then topping our baked Caramel Bread Pudding with extra caramel elevated the flavor to new heights.