Apple Cider Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Bread pudding

In August, I was assigned to Kate's blog for SRC and noticed that she co-hosted a cool monthly feature called First on the FIrst with Carrie. After the reveal day, I sent Kate an email to see if there was any space available to join in the fun. Luckily, she got right back to me and said yes! This is my first month participating in First on the First, and I was so glad to find out that the recipe chosen, bread pudding, was something that would be a first for me! I immediately got searching for the perfect bread pudding recipe. I bookmarked a few varieties, and while at the farmers' market this past weekend, I came across some homemade apple cider bread and knew I had to incorporate it into whatever recipe I chose. Since yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday, we had Joel's family over for dinner and I decided to make a variation of this recipe for dessert. Everyone loved it, including my baby nephew, who got a taste of the sauce from grandma's finger!

For the Bread Pudding:
5 cups Apple Cider Bread, cubed
1 cup Evaporated Milk
3/4 cup Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Spiced Rum
1 tablespoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs

For the Sauce:
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
3 tablespoons Spiced Rum
1 tablespoon Butter
6 tablespoons Half and Half, divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Cut the bread into cubes and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Alternatively, allow the bread cubes to sit on the counter to let them get a little stale. In a large bowl, combine the evaporated milk, milk, sugar, rum, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and eggs and stir with a whisk. Add the bread cubes and let them soak up the mix for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, rum, and butter over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Stir in 5 tablespoons of half and half. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to about 1 cup. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of half and half along with the vanilla and salt. Keep warm. Prepare a 9x5 inch pan with cooking spray. Spoon half of the bread mixture into the loaf pan and drizzle 3 tablespoons of sauce over the bread mixture. Spoon the remaining bread mixture over the top of the sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm, drizzled with the remaining sauce. 

SOURCE: Barely adapted from Cooking Light via My Recipes