I feel so lucky to be taking part in another cookbook review and spotlight. This will be my third, the other two were for Lisa Fain and The Homesick Texan and Joy Wilson’s, Joy The Baker Cookbook. The whole party is organised by Heather from Girlichef and Hippocrene books.

This third book is titled Muy Bueno, Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor. First of all you should check out the Muy Bueno blog and be wowed by the selection of authentic recipes brought to you by three amazing ladies, but let’s not forget the fourth lady and probably the most important one, Jesusita, the Grandma who planted the sights and smells of her cooking into the minds of her daughter and granddaughters . It was this cooking and these recipes that inspired Evangelina, Yvette and Veronica to start the Muy Bueno blog and continue the family history. The book is beautiful and I’ve already started to mark recipes I want to try, but I have to stick to Heather’s choices of what Myself and fifteen other bloggers can make in this first week of the spotlight.

Authentic capirotada Mexican bread pudding

Capirotada Mexican bread pudding is unlike any bread pudding I’ve ever come across. Usually a bread pudding is moistened by a silky, creamy liquid but this one has no cream or milk in it. The liquid comes from boiling water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks and cloves into a syrup. Piloncillo is an unrefined sugar pressed into a cone shape with a taste like molasses. I must confess, and the book tells me it’s okay, but I couldn’t find the piloncillo so dark brown sugar is a great substitute. Are you amazed yet by a bread pudding with no cream?, well let me throw another curve ball at ya… this bread pudding also has cheese in it! As I was reading through he recipe I  wasn’t sure how this was going to develop but the outrageously good smell  coming from the boiling syrup mixture is like Christmas, thanksgiving and winter time all rolled into one. Typically this is a dish served in the Lenten season.

The bread pudding didn’t turn out the best looking but the flavor made up for that and It’s a nice change from the dairy version, I think capirotada is definitely for the traditionalist who will give it the respect it deserves. We can choose our own recipe next week but with so many great looking dishes I know it’ll be a hard choice, watch out for what I choose and a chance to win your own copy of Muy Bueno!

Recipe for Capirotada:

Prep Time- 1 Hour    Bake Time- 40 minutes    Yield- 8-10 servings

4 bolillo rolls or French rolls
4 Tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups water
12 ounces piloncillo or 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 cup raisins
3 cups shredded longhorn cheddar or Colby cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut rolls into half inch slices and butter. Lay them on a baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes on each side until dry. Set aside

Combine water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil  then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes to make the syrup.

Remove from the heat and let stand for 2 hours. Pour through a strainer and discard the sticks and cloves.

Butter or spray an 8inch x 101/2 inch baking dish. Lay one third of the toasted bread into the dish, followed by a third of the raisins and a third of the cheese. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the syrup over the bread and let sit for 15 minutes.

Lay another layer exactly the same as the first layer and moisten with another 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Let soak for 15 minutes.

Top with the remaining bread, raisins and cheese and pour the remaining syrup over the bread pudding.. Let soak for a further 15 minutes.

Cover the dish with foil which has been sprayed or greased. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the top is golden and crusty. Serve warm.

The Muy Bueno cookbook will be on sale October 1st, you can pre-order yours from here. In the meantime follow along by checking out our Pintrest board or finding updates from Twitter using the hashtag
MuyBuenocookbook

This post is part of the Muy Bueno cookbook spotlight and cook-off, sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at Girlichef.