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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch Sets Sail with a Tropical Twist on a Traditional Recipe

25 March 2012

With the website's Fantasy Filled Month drawing to an end, the Days of the Week writers bring you a Fantasy Filled week, exploring topics on all things Disney and cruises.

I have been on land essentially all of my life. I've only set sail for brief periods of time on ferries, kayaks, rowboats, and canoes. Having never been on the Disney Cruise Line or any for that matter, I will do my best to create a Disney foodie experience on the Cruise Line. This can easily be done by donning on an apron and heading to the kitchen for another fun-filled recipe from Disney.

After leafing through my Disney cookbooks, I decided on trying out the 'Pina Colada Bread Pudding' found in Delicious Disney Desserts. I make the mix for Bread Pudding at work so I was curious to try out a full recipe finally at home. Also, I love pineapple! Let's begin by gathering our ingredients and getting everything in it's place.

Sugar, eggs, heavy cream, and pineapple are some of the ingredients needed

Bread Pudding:

10 slices white bread

' Cup Fresh pineapple, finely chopped (canned is fine too)

2 Tablespoons melted butter

2 cups whole milk (other % works too)

6 eggs, beaten

' cup heavy cream

1 cup sugar

4 Tablespoons coconut milk

2 Tablespoons coconut rum (optional)

With the bread pudding is a Vanilla Rum Sauce, whose recipe follows this. As with my previous recipes, I will have the main steps in bold.

1. Preheat your broiler. Cut bread into 1-ince cubes and spread on a cookie sheet. Use a knife with a serrated edge to cut the bread. Other knives will work, but you end up squishing the bread, any easy thing to do with soft white bread. Broil until golden brown, then remove from broiler and turn oven down to bake at 350⁰ F.

2. Combine toasted bread cubes and chopped pineapple in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Make sure the bowl is large to make mixing easier. I filled my trusty Chef Mickey bowl to the brim and it was difficult to mix without spilling.

3. Spread bread mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Drizzle with melted butter.

4. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not boil. My chef at school always said 'See the cream start to steam.' Once your milk starts steaming you know it is ready. Dairy products like milk and cream contain an enzyme that breaks down the protein structures and prevents thickening in some desserts, which is desirable, especially for custards such as bread pudding. In many baking recipes we must 'scald' the dairy product. This also kills harmful bacteria. Whisk in eggs, heavy cream, sugar, coconut milk, and rum. Remove from heat.

5. Pour custard over bread mixture. Use a fork to press bread down into the liquid until well soaked.

Chef Mickey lends a hand!

6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until pudding springs back in the center when pressed with a fingertip.

The finished bread pudding! It came out of the oven very fluffy and high, but deflated after a few minutes.

Pina Colada Bread Pudding on a fun Mickey Plate makes this looks like it came right off of the Cruise ship!

You can either serve the bread pudding as is or add the Vanilla Rum sauce below.

Vanilla Rum sauce

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons whole milk (for Step 1)

1 cup whole milk (for Step 2)

1 tablespoon of sugar (for Step 1)

1 tablespoon of sugar (for Step 2)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut rum

Making a custard sauce is an essential technique to have in your repertoire for pastry students. So I was a bit confused when I read the recipe for this sauce as they missed the last step. I should have went with my gut, but this recipe was published by Disney so I trusted this was how they meant it to be served. I was not happy with the result, so I did not put it on my final product, but if you'd like a slightly alternate version I have included the missing step at the end.

1. Combine egg yolks, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small mixing bowl, stirring until smooth.

2. Combine 1 cup milk, remaining tablespoon sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. This confused me too, as typically you only scald dairy, you do not boil it.

3. Whisk egg yolk mixture into boiling milk. Do this SLOWLY and gradually. You should start by whisking the milk and slowly pour the egg yolk mixture as you whisk. If you do it too fast, the eggs will cook and you'll have scrambled eggs in milk.

4. Immediately pour into a bowl in an ice bath to prevent curdling. Add rum and whisk thoroughly. An ice bath is literally a bath of ice. It works best with metal mixing bowls. I left mine back in NJ, so I used a metal saucepan in a large bowl of ice water. Make sure you add the water in your bath! Ice water is colder than just ice as it transfers the heat more efficiently. Make sure you whisk the sauce every now and then to distribute the cold throughout.

Chef Mickey knows all about 2 step cooling.


After whisking in the egg yolk mixture, continue to cook the sauce over medium heat, constantly stirring until it thickens. You know it is ready by either dipping a spoon into the sauce and a thick coat remains on the back of the spoon. This works best with a wooden spoon, but plastic and metal spoons work too. If it runs off like a thin liquid it is not ready yet. Other ways to check for readiness is to tip your pan and see how well the sauce coats the bottom or the sides. This is called cooking to 'nappe.' Be careful not to overcook it though as you want the sauce to run over the bread pudding and not pool up on top. After cooking to the right thickness, then pour the sauce into a bowl in an ice bath. If you are worried you cooked the sauce too much, then pour through a mesh strainer to take out any cooked lumps of egg.

5. Drizzle sauce over a square piece of bread pudding. If serving later, warm up the sauce over the stove or in microwave before service.

Usually the Disney Cook Books indicate where the recipe comes from, though this recipe merely lists 'Disney Cruise Line' as its source, so I'm assuming it's from all the ships. Bread Pudding is a common breakfast/dessert option at buffets, so I am guessing you can find it at Topsider Buffet on the Disney Magic and Beach Blanket Buffet on the Disney Wonder.

Despite the problems I had with the Vanilla Rum Sauce (though I didn't use rum), my Pina Colada bread pudding was delicious. It was very moist and springy as Bread Pudding should be. The pineapple flavors were clear and evenly distributed. The coconut flavor was weak, though it could be because I did not add the coconut rum. To correct this, just use a little bit more coconut milk or a teaspoon or two of coconut extract.

Believe it or not, this was my first time making bread pudding at home. I am looking forward to trying it again, but substituting different ingredients for the base. At work, we use chunks of yellow cake and my friend once used doughnuts! Hopefully my first bread pudding from a recipe on the Disney Cruise Line will lead to having the real thing on my first cruise.


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