What happens when you transform panettone into a bread pudding, top it with luscious dulce de leche sauce, whipped cream, and cinnamon?
Nice things, my friends. Very nice things.
After my wicked ordeal with panettone over the course of the past several weeks, I needed something to do with all the loaves that lingered on my kitchen counter. I wanted to make something super delicious with the leftover panettone — something sweet and sticky.
Panettone bread pudding, FTW!
I doused the panettone cubes with a good sloshing of heavy cream and eggs, spiked it with vanilla and almond extract, then sprinkled some toasted almonds and plump golden raisins on top before sending it off for a hot bake. Let me just tell you, once it was done cooking, the end result was absolutely amazing!
I drizzled it with a dulce de leche sauce, topped it with soft whipped cream, and then sprinkled a tad of cinnamon for some holiday cheer (BTW, this is probably the one and only time you will ever hear me say “holiday cheer.”). The contrast in textures, flavors, and temperatures was outstanding. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I love the sensation of eating something warm (in this case, the panettone bread pudding) along with something cold (like the whipped cream). I can’t get enough of it! Me mouthy likey.
But, to be honest, I think the sweet dulce de leche sauce really pulled it all together. It looked gorgeous and it gave the panettone bread pudding so much flavor.
I really recommend making this if you have panettone and are looking for something new. This is awesome for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Dessert, too.
How can you NOT want this?
Panettone bread pudding with dulce de leche sauce and homemade whipped cream
For the bread pudding:
8 cups – 1-inch cubed homemade or good quality store-bought panettone (Plan on using about half of a regular-sized panettone)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese; at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins
6 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
Unsalted butter, for greasing pan
For the dulce de leche sauce:
1 – 13.4 ounce can dulce de leche*
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*Dulce de leche is sweetened condensed milk that has been gently cooked down to create a rich, golden caramel, often used in South American desserts. You can find prepared canned dulce de leche in most international food aisles at major supermarkets or at your local Latin American market. Alternatively, you can make dulce de leche from scratch.
For the whipped cream:
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Tumble half of your cubed panettone into a large, rectangular greased baking dish and sprinkle the top with half the almonds and raisins.
In a medium bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese, brown and white sugars, orange juice, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour this sinfully delicious slurry of happiness over the bottom layer of cubed panettone. Then, top with the other half of panettone. They were feeling left out.
In another medium bowl, beat the eggs, heavy cream, and almond extract together.
Pour this mixture evenly over the panettone, making sure it thoroughly douses all cubes, pressing down with fingers slightly to help accelerate soaking stage. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and raisins. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
The next day, take the bread pudding out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes (this step helps it cook more evenly but if you’re harried and hurried you can just stick it directly into the hot oven but bank on baking it for an extended 10-15 minutes). If you haven’t already, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake, uncovered for about 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top begins to brown too rapidly, cover with foil and continue cooking until center is done.
While the bread pudding bakes, prepare the dulce de leche sauce.
In a small sauce pot set over medium-low heat, combine the dulce de leche, heavy cream, orange juice, and cinnamon, stirring often until the mixture has thinned and warmed through completely, about 5-7 minutes. Keep it over the lowest flame, covered.
Make the whipped cream. Pour the chilled heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract into an electric mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Start off slow so you don’t cover yourself in “stuff” and then increase to high speed (the more air you incorporate, the stiffer the peaks). Watch it closely though; an endeavor to make whipped cream can quickly turn into whipped butter (!). The whole process takes about 3-4 minutes but it depends on how stiff you like your whipped cream. I tend to stop at soft peaks. Gently pour this avalanche of heaven into a bowl, cover, and stash into the fridge until you’re ready to use.
Let the bread pudding rest and set for about 10-15 minutes after baking and then slice and serve topped with the warm dulce de leche sauce, chilled whipped cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.