6. Rocky Road Bread Pudding at BLD
Next time you find yourself in Chandler, skip dinner and dive right into dessert.Every bite of this over-the-top bread pudding showers us with waves of sugar. The warm, tender squares of sweet custard infused bread are laced with marshmallows, melt-y chunks of chocolate and a walnut or five for good measure. Top it off with creamy vanilla ice cream and a toffee sauce that could put our own mother's Almond Roca to shame and you have yourself one of the best bread puddings in town.
5. White Chocolate and Cranberry Bread Pudding at Vincent on Camelback
Vincent's White Chocolate and Cranberry Bread Pudding is one of those things you'll blame later as you begin the annual post-holidays diet, but for now, take the advice of Scarlett O'Hara (could a woman with a waist that effortlessly teeny ever be wrong?) and think about that tomorrow - or better yet, in a couple months. Rich, moist, and decadently creamy, this bread pudding is sweet enough to charm both pro- and anti-cranberry factions alike. Pick up the 9" dessert to go from Vincent's as part of your Thanksgiving order, or, from Thanksgiving through Christmas, find it at your local AJ's Fine Foods ($22). If you're willing to wait (and it's not easy), you can usually get it the day after Christmas at AJ's for a steal at 50% off, along with other surplus holiday treats.
4. Croissant Bread Pudding at Phoenix City Grille
There's nothing better than a warm croissant, fresh from the oven. Scratch that. There's nothing better than warm croissant bread pudding drizzled in decadent sweet syrup. If one croissant is good, lots of croissants are even better. Flaky, layered croissants are buttery, tender, and oh so rich. It's the Jack Daniel's whiskey lime and caramel drizzled atop the bread pudding that really makes this bread pudding special. We are happy to end any meal at the Phoenix City Grille with this decadent dessert, and we'll be honest, we're also more than happy to order this solo and indulge.
3. Candy-Cap Mushroom Bread Pudding at Renegade Canteen
Pastry chef Eddie Robinson does Renegade Canteen proud and one of our favorite desserts on the restaurant's menu is the candy-cap mushroom bread pudding. Mushrooms? Yup. Highly aromatic and with a sweet, syrupy taste, these 'shrooms are the key in making this dish so unique and flavorful. Share it and listen to spoons clatter for the last bite.
2. Tracy Dempsey's "Pig in the Orchard" at Citizen Public House
With Applewood smoked bacon, Granny Smith apples, and cinnamon ice cream, this dish features the best of breakfast and the best of dessert all in one. In fact, we'd be happy to eat this for any meal of the day - or for every meal of the day! The bread pudding itself is custardy but not so much so that it loses the texture of the bread. Dempsey's method of creating this dessert is perfect, slicing the apples as thinly as possible and chopping the bacon into surprising little bits of flavor that the eye can hardly discern. This ensures that all of the delectable flavors make it into every single bite and that no one at the table will be digging for the bacon treasure, leaving their friends high and dry with plain custard.
1. Chocolate Bread Pudding at The Cornish Pasty Co.
Cornish Pasty's chocolate bread pudding is to your average bread pudding as their pasties are to your average meat-filled pastry. That is, not at all alike -- and infinitely more delicious. Far from the mushy stuff that feels like a slice of French toast left in someone's back pocket, Cornish Pasty's bread pudding is coated with a crispy, sugary shell. Crack through and you'll find layers of homemade bread soaked in a rich dark chocolate brandy sauce that seems impossible to improve upon -- until you top it with the supplementary pitcher of crème Anglaise. Good show, old chap!
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