Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Crème Caramel: Feeding my bread pudding addiction
There’s a brief moment when I think, “If I stop eating right now, I can eat the rest for dessert tonight.”
I survey the sizable hunk of Crème Caramel’s caramelized banana and fig bread pudding in front of me and shake my head with a decisive “nah.” My fork confidently crashes into the remaining tuft of warm, custard-soaked brioche bread, excising the biggest bite I’ve had yet.
My eyes instinctively close as the caramel-topped bread pudding deflates on my tongue, releasing the slightest hint of salty pork from the bacon fat that was used to caramelize the ripe slices of banana.
“I’m in trouble now,” I think as I spear the last chunk with my fork, careful to drag it through the remaining drizzle of caramel on my plate.
When I first discovered that Crème Caramel, a Los Angeles-based dessert company, would be selling its specialty crème caramel (chilled custard French flan) and bread pudding at my local farmer’s market on Melrose Place in West Hollywood every Sunday, I was thrilled. I’d had the opportunity to snag a taste of their popular bacon bread pudding at Eat My Blog this past December and was eager to dig into a full-sized version that I could horde all to myself.
But now, post-hording, I realize that this could quickly become a dangerous addiction. It was far too easy to pick up the $5 bread pudding that morning while I was doing my usual market shopping for kale, pink lady apples and Brussels sprouts. It was also far too easy to heat and serve the individual-sized treat. I simply preheated my oven to 325 degrees, unwrapped the cellophane and then stuck the convenient bread pudding tin on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes. An ample drizzle of caramel later, and my tongue was in business.
The only thing that isn’t easy when it comes to Crème Caramel’s products is saying “no” to them. Especially when greeted with Founder Kristine de la Cruz’s infectious smile on a Sunday morning. It’s better than a cup of coffee – and, incidently, is the perfect companion to her equally delightful sweet treats.
Crème Caramel is available every Sunday from 10 am – 2 pm at the Melrose Place Farmer’s Market in West Hollywood. To learn about special “secret menu” items, follow @CremeCaramelLA on Twitter.
Ordering information can be found on their website and blog.