Guava bread pudding combines my two loves, bread and sweet gooey guava, and when combined they produce the most fabulous of Cuban flavors. Bread pudding is a classic comfort food: a savory dish or sweet dessert made of day-old bread and eggs with unlimited variations.
Guava bread pudding is a treat I have always thought about making, and this time I had a Cuban medianoche loaf of sweet egg bread and half a French loaf on hand. Honestly, if you are going out and buying special bread for your bread pudding then you just aren’t doing it right. Bread pudding should be made with bread that’s too stale for a sandwich and something extra you have on hand. Bread pudding is a classic comfort food and shouldn’t be fussy, so exact measurements aren’t even really necessary here either.
I was right about to make this recipe with loads of milk when it dawned on me that evaporated milk would add some sweetness so I could go lighter on the sugar. The recipe I was looking at for guidance called for 2 cups of milk which sound like an awful lot, and I wanted to save some milk for my coffee later. Using evaporated milk for the guava bread pudding was a great call. The evaporated milk and dash of cinnamon filled the air with a warm delicious scent reminiscent of rice pudding or arroz con leche. The cinnamon softens the sweet tang of guava and ties the dish together.
I added little globs of whipped cream cheese to the bread pudding and gently stirred the ingredients right before popping it in the oven. Cream cheese and guava go together like eggs and bacon, and if you haven’t had the two together, you’re missing out my friend.
Guava Bread Pudding
4 cups diced bread
1 can Carnation 2% Low-fat Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
¼ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Dash of cinnamon
½ cup diced guava paste (a cheese knife works best here!)
¼ cup whipped cream cheese
I used 2 cups medianoche bread diced, and 2 cups of diced french bread because that is what I had laying around the house. I added the cup of sugar and eggs to my KitchenAid Mixer and beat until incorporated on medium. Next I added the dash of salt, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, and evaporated milk. The kitchen smelled like a heavenly batch of fresh arroz con leche (at this moment I realized I needed to make arroz con leche asap for the site!).
I beat the ingredients until there were no more yellow wisps of yolk swirling about. I made sure to grease the dish for the bread pudding very well. The little cubes of diced guava paste looked like sugary bombs that would make cleaning this dish a nightmare later, so plenty of butter for greasing was in order here.
Toss in the diced bread cubes and pour the milk and egg mixture on top. Mix in the guava paste and dab little globs of the whipped cream cheese into the mixture. Allow the bread pudding to sit and soak for 15 minutes; stir once more and press down gently to even out the top before popping in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until set and firm. Remove from the oven and use a spatula along the edges to separate the gooey guava from the pan. Top with aluminum foil and allow the bread pudding to come to room temperature before serving.
Guava bread pudding can be served hot or cold. I prefer mine piping hot with cool whipped cream and vanilla sauce on top. I spooned some of the easy brown sugar vanilla sauce onto the dessert plate, topped with the bread pudding, added a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and I garnished with extra crumbles of brown sugar but cinnamon would work here too. The bread pudding was sweet and decadent with pockets of guava oozing out onto the plate. If you don’t feel like making the vanilla sauce a scoop of vanilla ice cream would work perfectly with the guava bread pudding.
Easy Brown Sugar Vanilla Sauce
1/3 cup mix of light and dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Dash of cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1 dash salt
1 cup whole milk added in thirds
2 teaspoons vanilla stirred in
Heat a small saucepan on low heat. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour to the warm pan and whisk till mixed. Allow the sugar mixture to ‘toast’ in the pan, the cinnamon will smell like fall. Add the melted butter to pan and whisk in.
Let the mixture bubble for a moment before slowly whisking in the milk in thirds until totally combined. Heat the sauce until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Whisk in the vanilla and pour into a sauce dish or bowl for serving. Enjoy!