Date Bread Pudding
4 slices oat or whole wheat bread
3/4 cup milk
1 cup light cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup dates, pitted and snipped into small pieces
Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Apricots in Chamomile Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 chamomile tea bag
1/2 cup dried apricots snipped into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the bread and cut into 1-inch cubes. You should have about or 2 cups of cubes. Arrange on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour into an 8x8 baking pan or gratin dish. Using a scissor, snip the dates into small pieces and mix into the bread cubes.
In a sauce pan, heat the milk, light cream and vanilla bean to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let infuse 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and agave together. Whisk in the warmed milk/light cream mixture. Pour over the toasted bread cubes let soak until absorbed about 1 hour or overnight covered and chilled.
Place the pan in a larger pan filled with 1 inch hot water to create a water bath. Bake until set and golden brown on top, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or chilled, with a dollop of cinnamon-brown sugar whipped cream and spoonfuls of the apricots in chamomile syrup.
To make the whipped cream, whip the cream with the brown sugar and orange rind till loose peeks form.
To make the chamomile syrup, in a small saucepan bring the water and honey to a boil. Add the tea bags and the snipped apricots and simmer about 3 minutes to infuse the chamomile and plump the apricots. Cool and remove the tea bags. Keep chilled till ready to serve.
Copyright Chef Gale Gand