This bread pudding is amazingly delicious, combining the natural maple flavor of the Candy Cap mushrooms with rich Costeaux brioche bread and tart dried cherries. The hardest part about this recipe is getting your hands on Candy Cap mushrooms. If you're in Healdsburg, call us at Relish because we almost always have some extras we can sell you. Otherwise, try the Retail Store on Connie Green's Wine Forest website.
Candy Cap and Dried Cherry Bread Pudding
with Candy Cap Whipped Cream
Courtesy Chef Elissa Rubin-Mahon
2 Tbsp dark rum
⅓ cup dried Candy Cap mushrooms broken into small pieces
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra large eggs + 3 egg yolks beaten until thoroughly combined
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups half and half, scalded
½ cup dried tart cherries
5-6 cups brioche or challah bread, cubed
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
cinnamon, to taste
Candy Cap-Rum Whipped Cream (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in center. Butter a 2-quart baking dish or large cast iron skillet.
Combine rum with mushrooms and set aside to hydrate for at least 30 minutes. Strain mushrooms, reserving candy cap-infused rum for the whipped cream below (and other creative uses).
Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla together, slowly add the scalded half and half, while whisking continuously, until thoroughly combined. Add the cherries, mushrooms, bread cubes and freshly grated nutmeg. Fold to combine. Allow mixture to stand for 30 minutes so that the custard is absorbed thoroughly into the bread cubes and the flavor of the candy caps is released.
Place the pudding mixture into the buttered 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon.
Place the baking dish inside a roasting pan. Place in oven and make a bain-marie by carefully pouring hot water into the roasting pan to surround the baking dish, stopping at ½” deep. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the center is firm, but the texture tender.
To serve, slice into evenly -sized portions. Top with whipped cream.
Candy Cap-Rum Whipped Cream
½ pint heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1 Tbsp candy cap-infused rum
2 tsp sugar
Whip cream with sugar and rum.