Photo credit: Kate Whitaker

hummingbird-LOGO-PINKIn Louisiana, this is known as Creole bread pudding. People in Louisiana who were descended from French, Spanish and African settlers were known as Creoles, and their influence on culture and cooking has made New Orleans unique. If you keep your bread cubes small and press them into the egg mixture, the result will be more pudding-like and less bready.

Makes a 23 x 32cm (9 x 13in) tin, to scoop or serve as desired
For the pudding:
3 large eggs
215g (7 ½ oz) golden caster sugar
950ml (1 ¾ pints) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp grated nutmeg
500g (1Ib 2oz) stale French bread, cut into 2-3cm (3/4 – 1¼ in) cubes
165g (6oz) raisins
For the bourbon whiskey sauce:
295ml (10fl oz) water
100g (3 ½ oz) light muscovado sugar
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
1 ½ tsp cornflour
60ml (2fl oz) Kentucky bourbon or whiskey
30g (1oz) unsalted butter
One 23 x 32cm (9 x 13in) tin
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Grease the tin with butter.
2. Using a freestanding electric mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, beat the eggs until frothy. Beat in the sugar, milk, vanilla and nutmeg and mix well.
3. Add the bread and raisins and stir very well by hand until all the bread is as evenly covered as possible. Set aside and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
4. Pour into the prepared tin evenly, pressing down gently on the bread so that the top is as even as possible and the bread is not breaking the surface too much. Bake for 45 minutes.
5. To make the bourbon whiskey sauce, mix the water, brown sugar and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to the boil on a high heat.
6. In a bowl, mix the cornflour and bourbon together, removing any lumps, then scrape it into the water and sugar mixture and cook until the mixture thickens and is smooth – whisking often. This should take around 8-10
minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to get a glossy shine on the sauce. Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and serve.
LIFE IS SWEET: 100 ORIGINAL RECIPES FOR HAPPY HOME BAKING by the
Hummingbird Bakery, published by 4th Estate, £20