Blue Ribbon Bakery: Bread Pudding

Saturday, March 11, 2006 8 No tags Permalink 0


Ooooh. I’ve been waiting for SO LONG for this bread pudding. All last year, all summer and finally – now I have it! I could never justify paying $12.50 for a slice of bread pudding (and still can’t believe I did it) so I only got as far as the entrance of Blue Ribbon Bakery while at NYU last year. But I had to have it. What if I got run over by a car tomorrow and died never having the only bread pudding I really wanted to try? A sad life that would be!

Robyn and I tried to get in on Thursday night but the wait was too long so we had dinner at Pearl’s Oyster Bar. I’m acutally glad it worked out that way because that was a mighty mean buttery lobster roll! I came back with Shann this time, around 12:30 am when something inside of me declared “you shall not sleep well tonight unless you have BREAD PUDDING!” So we made a midnight trek to the elusive Downing Street. We were quickly seated as the restaurant was only half fun. Yes! Never thought I’d see the day where there’s no wait at Blue Ribbon. But then again, how many people crave expensive bread pudding at 12:30 in the morning?

We told the waiter upfront that we were just here for dessert and they were totally cool with that. They even asked if we wanted bread – how nice is that? We were brought slices of savory olive, a sourdough and a dense nutty grain bread. Good on their own, even better with butter, and amazing when used to soak leftover dark chocolate fudge! (more on that later)

Here’s the deal. They offer two types – chocolate chip and banana walnut. This is a problem because I love both chocolate chip and banana walnut bread pudding, but I’m sane enough to not invest $25 for both puddings. I hemmed and hawwed and sought out my very attractive waiter for advice.

“Chocolate chip or banana walnut?”
“Do you like chocolate or banana better?”
“That’s the problem, I love them both equally.”
“How about this, I’ll give you half an order of each!”
“AHH, I LOVE YOU!” (not quite to that extent, but I did express an unusual amount of gratitude).

Hehehe. So I got BOTH. For the price of ONE! The chocolate chip was topped with a vanilla ice cream and a heavy hand of hot bittersweet fudge. Oh, indulgence indeed! The pudding was crusty on the outside but soft and squishy after breaking though the chocolate chip charred shell. The ice cream melted quickly, requiring strategic spoon movements, picking up the right size of pudding, a scoop of ice cream and dragging it though a pool of bittersweet fudge in a matter of seconds. What happened with the leftover fudge? Why the basket of half eaten sourdough begged to be eaten, bread and chocolate, who would refuse? The combo brought back memories of my toast and nutella days, only better.

The banana walnut was a welcome change from the heavier chocolate chip pudding. Again, the same crusty exterior (I think they cut each piece from a large pan and then heat it up on it’s own so that all four sides and top were crunchy. There were both chunks and smushed up bananas layered with the bread. There were too many walnuts for the size of the pudding, so I felt a little gypped on that end (I paid $12.50 for pudding not walnuts!) This was topped with the same vanilla ice cream but a caramel instead of chocolate sauce. The caramel was smooth and warm, lacing the pure white ice cream. Nearly all the ice cream melted into the pudding by the time my spoon made it’s way here but the hot and cold, soft and crunchy mess was a delight to indulge in.

I still can’t decide. I love them both. Chocolate and bananas are so different- it would be unfair to compare them!

Blue Ribbon Bakery
33 Downing Street
NY, NY 10014
(212) 227-0404

8 Comments
  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    Very nice! I found a place where you canmake some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site belowand put in your zip to see what’s available in your area. I made over $900 last month having fun!make extra money

  • Robyn
    March 27, 2006

    One of my friends just told me that she thinks the bread pudding at 24 Prince is better. :OSo…OMG, I need to investigate. :)I did love Blue Ribbon though.

  • anonymous
    March 27, 2006

    Hi Kathy – That’s some service you got there! Though at $12.50 for bread pudding…..

  • Kathy YL Chan
    March 28, 2006

    Hey Robyn,Investigate immediately and report back! Perhaps this calls for another flight back. hehehe.Hey Kirk,I know, it so expensive – that’s 2 loco mocos right there (or a dozen coco puffs)!

  • anonymous
    March 28, 2006

    Very nice! I found a place where you canmake some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site belowand put in your zip to see what’s available in your area. I made over $900 last month having fun!make extra money

  • anonymous
    April 1, 2006

    Very nice! I found a place where you canget a new game system, Just go to the site belowand put in your zip to see what’s available in your area. I sold mine and got some extra cash! game system

  • anonymous
    April 1, 2006

    Very nice! I found a place where you canget a new game system, Just go to the site belowand put in your zip to see what’s available in your area. I sold mine and got some extra cash! game system

  • anonymous
    April 1, 2006

    read your post and then found this recipe on a livejournal community i belong to. thought i would share.BREAD PUDDING WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS AND BANANAS 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 medium bananas, peeled and cut into-inch-thick slices 2 cups heavy whipping cream 2 cups whole milk 1 cup sugar 8 large eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 8 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate 1 pound day-old brioche or challah bread, cut into -inch cubes Vanilla Sauce (recipe follows) Powdered Sugar, for dustingPreheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy small skillet over medium-high heat until it foams, about 1 minute. Add the banana and toss to coat. Using a fork, very coarsely mash the bananas. Set aside to cool.Whisk the cream, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Fold in the mashed bananas and chopped chocolate. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Let the mixture stand for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, to allow the bread to absorb the custard. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, spread evenly.Bake until the center is set and the bread pudding is golden brown on top, about 55 minutes. Let stand for 30 minutes to cool.Cut the warm bread pudding into squares. Transfer the bread pudding to plates and spoon the cold Vanilla sauce around the bread pudding. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.Although bittersweet chocolate works best for this recipe, semisweet chocolate may be used as a quick substitute.It is important not to overcook the custard in the bread pudding as it lends rich creamy texture. Youll know that its done when the center is set and the bread pudding is golden brown on top and begins to puff.(Serves 8)VANILLA SAUCE 2 cups whole milk cup sugar 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 6 large egg yolksCombine the milk and cup of sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture, and then add the bean. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.Whisk the egg yolks and remaining cup of sugar in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture. Pour the custard into the same medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon (do not allow the custard to boil, or the custard will curdle). Stirring constantly about 8 minutes.Pour the custard through a fine-meshed strainer and into a medium bowl. Discard the solids. Place the bowl of custard atop a large bowl of ice water, and stir the custard until it is cool. Cover the custard, and refrigerate until it is cold.Cooks Notes: It is very important to stir the custard over medium-low heat just until it thickens slightly otherwise it will curdle.If desired, one teaspoon of vanilla extract may be substituted for the vanilla bean. Just stir the vanilla extract into the custard once it is cool.(Makes 2 1/3 cups)****Recipe from Zov: Recipes and Memories from the Heart by Zov Karamardian****

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *