The reason I chose to cook this incredibly wonderful dessert of Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread Pudding all came about when Willow Bird Baking put up a Cheesecake Challenge. It is probably not something I would normally choose to bake but I am having a love affair with pumpkin and spice lately. The recipe also calls for Brioche and I had seen an amazing Brioche recipe on Snippets of Thyme recently that I was hoping to bake. And bake I did!
I just have to start by saying that this was a sensational dessert, I loved it. The cheesecake component had the most beautiful lush creamy texture and the flavour of spices and pumpkin and cream cheese..... The brioche perfectly matched the mousse like cheesecake filling. I ate it while still slightly warm and it was really good but actually the next day straight out of the fridge it was at its best, the flavours had really developed. I am trying to eat healthy and lose weight but having this in my fridge was the hardest challenge yet - I could not resist breaking off pieces of the brioche and scooping up extra cheesecake......
I made my husband take it out that night to feed his fellow band members (check it out - Letters to Home), hopefully they weren't on a diet too!
So to begin I made the brioche, it is not a difficult process, just takes time, including an overnight stint. The dough is rich with eggs and milk and butter and sugar. I was not sure if I had eaten brioche before but once it was finally baked the taste was ever so familiar. Although it is not really a bread I would eat on its own it was the perfect vehicle for my cheesecake.
To prepare for the pudding I baked butternut pumpkin with a little cinnamon until nice and soft and then pureed. The cheesecake mixture is a combination of the pumpkin with cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, cream, vanilla, and generous amounts of allspice, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
The baked brioche was sliced nice and thick, each side coated with melted butter and placed in a baking dish. I poured over the creamy custard and allowed the bread to soak it all in under some tight cling wrap before drizzling the pudding with a combination of brown sugar and butter. The dish was placed in a water bath for baking.
Once removed from the oven I was immediately impressed with how beautiful this turned out. I really wanted to create one of the other cheesecakes suggested in the challenge for their beauty but this one I now know stands out in its own right.
I would suggest once cooled put this in the fridge and enjoy the next day cold, it was sooooo yummy! I would go as far to say it could possibly be my new favourite dessert!