Tropical Bread Pudding with Mango & Orange Reduction
Mangos, unsweetened coconut flakes, risp crisp cereal and beets. You might think these four ingredients have nothing in common. But think again! These four ingredients are part of the ultimate vegan challenge: Vegan Chopped! I know what you’re thinking, there’s no such thing as Vegan Chopped. In fact, there’s no cooking or food related shows on television at all about special diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan). The sad thing is, you’re right. There are no cooking shows on tv the are specifically for special diets. The people over at the Post Punk Kitchen think that’s quite unfair. Why should omnivores have all the fun?! That’s when the idea of Vegan Chopped was born. Just like the television show, the lovely people at PPK announce four ingredients that must be made into a dish and give us a few days to come up with a creative dish. So, I am happy to share with you all today my entry for Vegan Chopped!
Other than having to use the four given ingredients, the dish must be a dessert. It took me a while to think of something that would incorporate all four ingredients, but then I remembered the bread pudding I had made a few months ago from the cookbook Veganomicon. My mind went to work! And thankfully I found some beets at the wet market. I must confess, I had never cooked with beets before and they do look a bit intimidating. I found this website to be very helpful and they roasted up quite lovely! My favorite thing about this bread pudding is how the mango and orange reduction pulls everything together. The sweet bread, the earthy roasted beets, and pineapple all combine incredibly well with the mango and orange reduction. I also really like how the coconut, rice crisp cereal, and almonds toast on top while the bread pudding is baking!
Tropical Bread Pudding
6 cups (1 inch cubed) stale bread*
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup roasted and shredded beets
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (drained canned pineapple would probably also work)
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup rice crisp cereal
1/4 cup sliced almonds
*I used stale french bread, but any crusty bread will work fine
Mango & Orange Reduction
2 cups fresh mangos, peeled and seeded
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
Roast your beet(s) wrapped in foil at 400° F. Time will vary depending on size. Once your beet(s) are tender and a fork can easily be inserted inside, remove from oven and wait until cool enough to handle. Once cool, peel the skin off of the beet(s) and shred 1 cups worth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch pan. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk and tapioca flour until no lumps remain. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk thoroughly.
Place the stale, cubed bread in a large bowl and pour the non-dairy milk mixture over the bread, making sure to cover every piece. Mix in pineapple. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes, so the bread can soak up the liquid. Depending on what kind of bread you used and how stale it is, add more non-dairy milk, 1/4 cup at a time. Allow the mixture to sit until every piece of bread is saturated and there’s a little bit of extra liquid in the bowl. The mixture will look mushy and wet.
Spread out half of the bread and pineapple mixture out evenly in the 9×9 pan. Spread the shredded beets on top of the bread and then add the rest of the bread mixture on top of the beets until covered. In a small bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, risp crisp cereal, and almonds and sprinkle on top of the bread pudding, patting down gently. Bake for 30 minutes.
While the bread pudding is baking, prepare the reduction. In a large skillet, add mangos, orange juice, and sugar and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Once done, drain the sauce to remove any large chunks of remaining mango. Serve warm over bread pudding and enjoy!