Rose is possibly one of my favorite flavors. It’s so fresh and fragrant and it reminds me of my home away from home—India. Rose, cardamom, and saffron are all quintessential Indian dessert ingredients. You will like find at least one of these ingredients in most Indian desserts. This bread pudding is a twist on just that. While it baked in the oven, the fragrance that wafted through my apartment took me back to Diwali evenings in Bombay when my mom would make all sorts of treats. If you enjoy Indian flavors, I’m confident you will love this. In fact, another dessert I make every Diwali is a cardamom chai tiramisu (Check out my post from a few years ago!). It’s the most fragrant rose cream on airy, pillowy, chai dipped lady finger cookies. Truly divine!
So, I usually avoid white bread and refined sugar at all costs, but this bread pudding called for a few cheats. I have made modifications where I could and significantly reduced the amount of refined sugar. If you have any other modifications you can think of, I would love to hear!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Thank you for the love and if you do end up trying it, please feel free to share your pictures with me on Instagram @kavitaarjungi.
What You’ll Need:
For the bread pudding:
- 6-7 Slices of white bread (Brioche is ideal if available. If not, regular white bread works great too! You can use gluten free bread if you’d like as well)
- 2 Cups of Almond Milk (or any kind of milk you prefer)
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup maple syrup
- 2 Teaspoons cardamom powder
- 2-3 Tablespoons of Rose Syrup (I used the Mapro brand but you could also use Rooh-Afza. This can be found at most Indian grocery stores)
- 2 Tablespoons of Rose water
- 2 Tablespoons of custard powder
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5-6 strands of saffron (optional)
For the Coconut Rose Cream, combine the following ingredients and refrigerate:
- 1 Cup Coconut Yogurt (or coconut flavored greek yogurt. I used the Trader Joes coconut almond butter greek yogurt)
- 1 Tablespoon of Rose Syrup
For the garnish, I used the following:
- Powdered sugar
- Cardamom powder
- Chopped toasted almonds
- Fresh fruit (I used raspberries for a pop of color)
- Fresh mint leaves
How to put it together:
- Broil slices of bread on a rack in the oven for around 1 minute each side. Be sure to keep an eye on the bread as it will begin to brown very quickly. Remove from the oven once both sides are nicely golden and crisped. Set aside to cool.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, heat 2 Tablespoons of almond milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the saffron, and cardamom powder to the warm milk and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining almond milk, eggs, coconut sugar, rose syrup, rose water, custard powder, and vanilla.
- Combine the saffron milk mixture with the whisked custard mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Cut each piece of toasted bread into 4 small squares and begin to arrange them in a loaf pan. Once the first layer has been arranged on the pan, pour some of the custard mixture over until all the pieces of bread have been well soaked in the mixture.
- Layer and repeat the process ensuring to soak all pieces of bread in the custard mixture. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Bake bread pudding at 350°F for 40 minutes.
- Once baked and cooled, top the pudding with dollops of coconut rose cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, cardamom powder, fresh fruit, slivered almonds, and/or a few mint sprigs if available. Feel free to garnish with anything you have that you think will complement the flavors well!