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It’s Fandom Foodies time again, where we invite all of you to bake based on a new geeky theme each month! This month is hosted over at Food ‘n’ Flix Club, and the theme is #XMenu! Check out the host post here and take a look at the other X-Men themed recipes on display this month!
I’ll be up front with you: comics are one part of geekdom I never fully immersed myself in. Not for lack of interest, mind you. It’s a monumental task to get caught up on lore and previous issues, and I’m frankly already swamped with my to-read and to-watch list. Not to mention the investment… comics aren’t exactly the world’s cheapest hobby. Sigh!
I still have a soft spot for X-Men, though. I was a big fan of the X-Men animated series back in the 90’s, so that’s probably where that particular soft spot developed. I also developed an extra, super duper softest spot for Rogue… or Anna Marie. Her real name wasn’t established until 23 years after her first published appearance in 1981, but it’s fairly well known now.
Anna Marie grew up in Mississippi, hence her Southern accent. While I wasn’t raised anywhere near the Southern U.S., I’ve gotten to know Southern food since moving to Atlanta and marrying into an Alabama/Gulf Coast family. Some things still baffle me (sweet potatoes with marshmallow clearly don’t belong on a savory plate), but most of it is incredibly good. On my last visit to the in-laws, I had a praline pudding that left me floating on clouds for a good while. When I tried to think of a Southern dessert to whip up in honor of Rogue, it seemed to fit the bill.
A final note: my great grandma on my father’s side was born and raised not too far away from Anna Marie’s birthplace. She was a fantastic Southern cook, and it felt only right to whip out her magnolia-adorned china for this one.
PRALINE BREAD PUDDING FOR ANNA MARIE
1 long narrow baguette, cut into 1/3″ slices
500ml (2 cups) heavy cream
350ml (1.5 cup) milk
50g (1/4 cup) butter, melted
120g (2/3 cup) brown sugar
1 tbsp good vanilla
1 pinch salt
50g (1/3 cup) chopped pecans
20g (1.5 tbsp) butter
15g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
180g (1 cup, packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
1 tbsp good vanilla
1. Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F. Lightly grease a 22cm/9″ pie pan with a little of the melted butter, then arrange the baguette slices into the pan as shown below. Put the pie pan into the oven for 10-15 minutes to toast the bread. Allow to cool to room temperature.
3. Make the pudding: whisk together cream, milk, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Pour over the bread, then top it with a dinner plate and place something on top to weigh it down (this makes all your bread absord the custard, not just the lower half). Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the dinner plate and bake bread pudding for 35 minutes.
4. While the pudding bakes, make the praline topping: Combine the butter and pecans in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the pecans are toasted. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Add this to the pecans in the saucepan and whisk together briskly. Cook over medium heat, still stirring frequently, until thickened.
5. After the first 30 minutes of baking, remove the bread pudding from the oven. Immediately slather the pecan topping on top of the pudding while it is still hot, then return it to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the praline topping is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down a bit before serving. If desired, garnish the edges with some pecan pieces.
FOR THE X-MEN LOGO:
Using a roughly 18cm/7″ bowl as a guide, cut a circle out of a large sheet of cardstock. Tape an X over the hole using tape about 4cm/1.5″ in diameter. Place the template over the pudding and dust liberally with powdered sugar (I like to do this over the sink or a piece of parchment for easy cleanup!).
Carefully remove the template so no powdered sugar falls off of it, then serve!
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