Yield: 6-8 Servings
Union Bar and Grille, Boston, MA
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
8 large eggs
1 quart whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 – 1lb loaf brioche or egg bread, torn into bite-size pieces
Vanilla ice cream
Praline: Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Stir sugar and ¼ cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 7 minutes. Stir in nuts. Quickly spread mixture on prepared baking sheet. Cool. Chop praline into small pieces. (Can be made 1 day ahead and store in airtight container at room temperature).
Bread Pudding: Whisk eggs, cream, sugar, 1 cup maple syrup, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Add brioche; stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish and transfer bread mixture to prepared dish. Bake until puffed and golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into 6-8 pieces. Place on a serving plate and add scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with praline. Time saver tip: If you don’t have time to make the pralines, top with toasted walnuts and drizzle with warm maple syrup.