Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?

While waiting for my cooking class to begin at my local library, I decided to peruse the cookbook section as I am on a cooking and baking kick.  Immediately, Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa:  How Easy Is That?  caught my eye.

Besides the beautiful pictures in all of her cookbooks (credit to Quentin Bacon for this book specifically), I like the way her cookbooks seem to tell a story worth reading.

By page 18 of How Easy Is That? I was engaged in a steady drool.  The simple list of ingredients for every recipe made me believe that even I could create such culinary masterpieces with ease.

So, the French Toast Bread Pudding had me at “5 cups half-and-half.”

Looking further through the list of ingredients, I realized I did not have a challah loaf or grated orange zest, but I threw caution to the wind and decided to substitute.

For the challah, I used the generic wheat bread in my pantry.  Instead of the orange zest, I grated fresh nutmeg into the custardy mix.  Since the hub must have used the last of the honey and failed to replenish, I simply left it out.  In lieu of the 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish, I stretched to the back of my cabinet in order to retrieve my bundt pan.  I was going all-out fancy for this one.  Watch out Martha;  here I come.

For the baking itself, I decided to skip the water bath and aluminum foil tent as I felt the bread had soaked long enough in the eight-egg mixture to compensate.

What ensued was pure fluffy, moist, souffle-e goodness.  My oldest daughter who is certain she does not like eggs had three helpings.

WP_20150304_001As for trying to be fancy like Iggy Azalea, it was not meant to be.  The pudding stuck to the bottom of the bundt pan, but believe me, we scraped every last bit.