No dessert sounds so mundane as bread pudding, yet no other dessert can deliver such variables of taste and texture.
One of its beauties is its versatility. It starts with bread, of course, and the choices there are vast. It can be studded with raisins, nuts, currants, dried cherries or other similar ingredients, and flavored with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon — anything goes. Then there’s the sauce — rum-, brandy- or bourbon-based, or something non-alcoholic — and a topping of, say, whipped cream with citrus extract, butterscotch sauce, ribbony caramel or some flavor of ice cream.
Chef Tom Patterson at Fabian’s Italian Bistro makes an unusual version, which will be on the menu through December and perhaps beyond. The base for his chocolate bread pudding is soft challah bread, which takes off from there with the additions of chocolate mousse, ganache, cream, egg, cinnamon and sugar, topped with vanilla gelato and brittle orange “clear” caramel ($8.95). To paraphrase the famous quote from Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” “We want some more, please.”
Get it at 11755 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, in the Almond Orchard center; (916) 536-9891, www.fabiansitalianbistro.com.
Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.