I had my first close call at school yesterday — almost setting off the fire alarm which would then require everyone in the building to evacuate. all because of that fragile hard caramel decoration! While it was interesting watching sugar carmelize to a hard ball stage, it was nerve wracking trying to figure out when to pull it off the heat. To make the hard caramel design you put sugar in a pot with just enough water to make it feel like wet sand, plus a tad bit more. Let it come to a boil and use a brush with water to brush down the sides of the pot so the sugar doesn’t burn on the sides. Then let it boil until it turns color to a light brown. Do not stir at any point in time. Once it gets brown, pull it off the heat, let it cool slightly until it “threads.” Take a spoon, dip it in the caramel and drizzle designs on parchment paper. Once it cools, you can peel it off. If the caramel becomes too hard to work with just reheat over the stove.
Anyway, the main part of the dessert is bread pudding. It is made from leftover cinnamon rolls soaked in custard, spooned into individual tin cups, and baked in a water bath at 350 degrees. This was my first time making bread pudding and it was relatively simple. I’d make it again if I had some leftover bread to use up!