This soda bread pudding is the definition of comfort food. Soaked in milk, cream, coffee, and whiskey then topped with a whiskey caramel. It is perfect right out of the oven with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.
This is one of those bread pudding recipes that screams decadence but is so easy to make. The coffee and whiskey take center stage in this dessert and a fantastic way to end a meal. All you need is a good loaf of Irish soda bread and you are ready to go.
In this recipe
The best part about this recipe is its simplicity. Soda bread, eggs, milk, cream, sugar, coffee, butter, and whiskey. All this will take is a little drying out in the oven if you are using a fresh loaf of soda bread and an hour to soak and you will be well on your way to a great dessert.
Making the soda bread pudding
If you are using fresh soda bread instead of day old you will want to dry it out a little bit. To do this cut the bread into cubes or tear into small pieces and bake at 250 for 30 minutes. This will allow the bread to absorb all of the liquid they will be soaking in. That will give the nice tender bread pudding you will expect.
Making whiskey caramel sauce
Making caramel isn’t as scary as it sounds. One of the important things to be aware of though that it is going to get VERY hot. If you have a candy thermometer it will be helpful but not necessary. The water is used to dissolve the sugar and as the it evaporates the sugar will darken in color. When the liquid starts to boil be careful about stirring it.
The reason you do not want to stir is that if there is a single grain of sugar on the spatula it can trigger the whole thing to seize. If this happens you will need to start again. Once the caramel starts to get a rich golden color or darker that is when you remove it from the heat to add the butter. Even if the butter is warm the reaction will be a little volatile. Just keep whisking and it will calm down.
From there the cream and whiskey will add a considerable amount of liquid back to the sauce which will thin it out. It will need to cook some more for that liquid to boil out. A little trick I like to do is to add all but 2 tablespoons of the whiskey when adding the cream. Then I will let it thicken and remove from the heat. When the caramel has cooled and it quite thick warm it up just a little bit and add the rest of the whiskey. That way there is a hint of the alcohol left.
Soda Bread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel
- Mixing Bowl
- 8 x 10 inch baking pan
- 1 loaf Irish soda bread
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- ½ cup coffee cold
- ½ tbsp vanilla
- ¼ cup Irish whiskey
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
Irish Whiskey Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tbsp butter unsalted, softened
- ½ cup heavy cream room temperature
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup Irish whiskey
Making the bread pudding
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolk until combined. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, espresso powder, salt, coffee, and whiskey. Then whisk in the milk until all is blended. Add the bread cubes and toss until all is coated. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to allow the bread to absorb all of the milk mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or gas mark 4 and grease the 8x10 inch baking dish.
- Pour the soda bread into the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and back for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Making the caramel sauce
- In a saucepan on medium-high heat add the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved stop stirring. This could cause the caramel to seize. Allow to boil undisturbed until the caramel starts to take on a rich amber color. Once all of the sugar has started to change to a caramel color remove from the heat.
- Add the butter to the sauce. This might bubble violently. Use a whisk to completely mix in all of the butter. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the whiskey and pour the rest in the caramel sauce with the heavy cream. Add back to the heat and reduce to medium. Allow to boil again to reduce.
- Once the caramel sauce has started to thicken remove from the heat again. Once the sauce is almost to room temperature, add the remaining whiskey and whisk until combined.
- Drizzle over the warm bread pudding to serve.