You should probably avoid pretty much anything I stress bake.
That’s right, I stress bake. Here’s a quick little reminder for you guys who are not aware of my sordid love affair with decadent chocolate cake and anything bathed in a creme.
I mean, come ON! How are you not salivating? You see, I have a real love and passion for food. I wouldn’t say I’m as adventurous as Andrew Zimmern, but I do enjoy tasting new and interesting foods – especially when they both smell and look delish!
During midterms, I baked double dark chocolate brownies, some with a hearty layer or mint chocolate; plus there were chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, waffles, and capellini with homemade marinara! Should I have been studying? Probably. Did I need the brain-break? YES.
Once I got through the thick of exams, though, my brain kept re-thinking the exam questions and trying to remember my answers. I re-lived new hypos (hypothetical questions and scenarios on the exam), trying to see if I could apply the law to my own ideas.
- Note: You should really avoid this kind of cyclical and tedious behavior. It’s not good for you and ends in tears. Trust me.
I ended up getting myself worked up and decided I needed something to focus on, so I dug deep into my belly and decided that what my little heart craved most was capirotada.
I know – what in the ever-loving tort law is capirotada?
Capirotada is a Mexican Bread pudding that is traditionally eaten during the lenten season. One of my Tias (Aunts) is an absolute expert at all things Capirotada and I decided to make my own recipe, inspired by her yummy treats and hilarious jokes.
I guess you can say law school has me feeling all sorts of ways and I needed to re-ground myself. Clean the slate. And, erm..avoid studying for contracts just a bit longer.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Vanilla (I used Mexican vanilla, but I’m not convinced that another form of liquid vanilla would taste too different)
- 6-7 bolillos (small french bread like loaves, usually found in the bakery of your local supermarket)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 piloncillo chunks (piloncillo is a Mexican Brown sugar, packed tightly and in a small cone-like shape about the length of your hand)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 eggs
- 4 star anise flowers
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of pecans (I picked up some candied pecans, and will not justify this delectable choice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease (use butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray) a 9 1/2″ x 13″ pan. Set aside.
- On the stove, place the piloncillo, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla, and water into a pot and simmer the ingredients until the piloncillo is completely dissolved and reduces by about a quarter. [This is the step where your house starts to smell like Christmas and all things wonderful and warm!] Set aside for about 20 minutes to cool.
- Cut the bolillos into bite sized cubes. Set them in a large mixing bowl.
- Take the star anise and cinnamon sticks out of the syrup.
- Scramble the eggs in a medium sized bowl. Carefully and slowly, add the cooled syrup into the egg mixture. Scramble again. [You should add the syrup a couple of ladel-fulls at a time.]
- Once the eggs and syrup are combined, pour half the mixture over the bread.
- Add half a cup of cheese, half a cup of raisins, and a 1/4 cup of pecans. Toss gently to combine the ingredients. Transfer them to the pan.
- Repeat step 8 with the rest of the raisins, pecans, cheese, and syrup.
- Now you place the casserole dish into the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 – 30 minutes, until the top is slightly brown.
- While you’re waiting, you can make the glaze!
- Whisk the condensed milk and half a cup of milk in a small bowl. You can use less milk if you want a thicker, creamy glaze.
Once the capirotada is done, pull it out of the oven and pour the glaze over it.
Feel free to serve yourself a heaping slice with a nice glass of milk. You can eat capirotada cold or warm, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be gone before it has time to cool off.
If you’re feeling like a daredevil and not counting any calories at all…you should try this with a small mound of vanilla bean ice cream. Oooooh!