Remember back when my friend Stephanie was on a reality show last summer? Well, today’s guest post comes from my good friend Laura, who was my partner
in crime when it came to the setup and administration of the Team Steph social media campaign. She’s also the blogger behind How Not to be an Asshole, her relatively new blog.
Laura recently told me about an experiment she was going to attempt for her dinner club, and really… it just sounded far too epic to NOT invite her to guest blog it for us. SO, without further ado, lemme turn this over to her…
I am not a food blogger. I do not take pictures of my every meal and post them on Facebook. I’m an OK cook and a decent baker. However, some experiments simply must be recorded for posterity…..
I can already hear you thinking, “What on earth….?” Yes, you read that correctly. I’m the member of a monthly Dinner Club, where a group of lovely woman gathers each month to make new things, eat, and talk about the food. Every month, there is a different theme we each sign up to make a specific course. We’ve had some good ones – French food, Dips and Fondues, Foods Starting with the Letter Q, Upscale Cafeteria Food…. anyway, in March 2013, we had a new theme: The Movies. Redesigned movie theater food, or food inspired by a movie.
So, at first I was thinking, “Um….. Coke? With vodka? Yum!” Then I started pondering food that they serve in movie theaters. This was a bit problematic, since I pretty much don’t buy anything they sell there. I was going to try to do some upscale nachos, when it hit me… What is the most memorable food scene in a movie? Oh, no, you say. Oh, yes, I say.
If you want to take a minute to go watch that scene in The Breakfast Club, I’ll wait. Go ahead.
And if you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, then you’re probably not actually reading this, because you live in a cave and do not know anything about computers or the internet. Anyway, The Breakfast Club is the best of the brat pack. It’s 1980s John Hughes perfection about a group of very different high school students sentenced to spend a Saturday in detention. As part of that, each student brings his own lunch. And Ally Sheedy, that darling, makes something horrific and appalling that fascinates us all.
She pulls a sandwich out of her bag, removes the pimento loaf, and tosses it over her shoulder, where it hits a statue. She then is left with one slice of wheat bread and one of white. They appear to be buttered. She opens Pixie Stix and pours sugar over each slice of bread. She then takes Cap’n Crunch cereal, smooshes it onto the bread, and makes a sandwich. Crazily, she then actually eats it. Through it all, she is sipping a can of Coke. A friend and I tried this when we were 12. It’s not an experiment I would ordinarily recommend repeating.
I made a joke to a friend that I was going to make Cap’n Crunch Pixie Stix Sandwiches. I was tempted to bring them as a side and pretend that was my contribution. But then it hit me – why not actually make something delicious using those ingredients?
I assume you’re thinking that this is impossible. Part of me agrees that it’s at least insane to try. But, once I got started on that path, I figured – why not? I can do this. Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I’ve never actually made bread pudding.** And can you believe that a google search of “Cap’n Crunch bread pudding” didn’t yield any recipes? Well, it will now…. Anyway, so I started by scouring bread pudding recipes. It doesn’t look that difficult. Essentially like baking mushed up french toast. And I see that some people use nuts or raisins, so a little crunchiness should be appropriate.
So, first, we assemble the ingredients….
To be totally authentic, I am using half white bread and half wheat bread. Plus, using wheat bread makes it healthy, right? Totally makes up for the fact that we’re using soda, children’s cereal, and candy. Anyway, to recreate this awesomeness, you’ll need the following:
4 slices each, stale white and wheat bread (I left the crusts on)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sweetened corn and oat cereal, such as Cap’n Crunch.
1 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
Colored sugar (any color, but yellow may go best with the other colors in the finished product)
If you don’t have stale bread, you can put it in the oven at 350 for about 10 minute so or so until it gets hard. Be careful not to burn it.
Rip bread into chunks and put in large bowl. I had a lovely 15-year-old sous chef take care of this for me, which was extremely helpful. In another bowl, beat the eggs well, add to melted butter. Add milk and whisk, then add brown sugar. Mix well. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon.
Pour mixture over the bread, and let sit for about 15 minutes, periodically, pushing the bread down to ensure that it remains well covered. Once bread is soft, mix in cereal. Pour into greased 9X9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until it reaches desired consistency. Then, make caramel sauce.
1/4 cup cola
To start, bring cola to boil in small sauce pan. Reduce to medium heat, then let boil until it reaches a thick, syrupy consistency. Set aside.
In another pan, mix water with white sugar, bring to boil. Cook over low heat, stirring, until sugar caramelizes – it will turn a golden brown. (Kiddo was also quite helpful in this capacity – see if you can borrow a teenager before you begin.) Do not burn. Add butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until it boils. Add cola syrup. Cook and boil until mixture reduces and reaches desired consistency. Be careful not to let it boil over.
Remove bread pudding from oven and let cool. Cut and serve drizzled with caramel sauce. To be 100% authentic, drizzle with colored sugar. Enjoy. Marvel that something so weird can be so delicious.
Still contemplating whether this should be served with a slice of lunch meat that you can pull out and throw over your shoulder before eating it….
* In the interests of double full disclosure, I only ate it for the first time in December of last year. Yes, I am no better than those cave dwellers I mocked a few moments ago.