Fruitcake Bread Pudding
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 (1-1/4-pounds) panettone (crust trimmed) or fruitcake (maraschino cherries removed), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon, optional
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon
2 large egg yolks
Pinch kosher salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons butter and set aside.
Place the cake on a sheet pan in a single layer and toast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely, then place in the buttered dish
Whisk the milk, heavy cream, bourbon, if using, eggs, egg yolks, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until well-combined. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish with the cake cubes. Press them down into the liquid to cover completely. Let soak until the mixture until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour.
Place the baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the pudding has turned golden and is set and a knife inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the pudding from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until combined. Whisk in the heavy cream, bourbon, egg yolks and salt. Cook until the sauce is thickened, about 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Do not let the sauce come to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
To serve: Spoon the bourbon sauce on dessert plates and place pudding on the sauce. Lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.