This Donut Bread Pudding is the Only Dessert You'll Want to Make for Valentine's Day

Donut. Bread. Pudding. Three words that add up to a decadently delicious V-Day treat.

Want to pull off an incredible, one-of-a-kind dessert—on Valentine's Day or any day—that will make your dinner date gawk? Star chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky, has the hook-up. His recipe for the outrageous Glazed Donut and Sweet Potato Bread Pudding brings sticky-sweet donuts together with richly flavorful sweet potatoes to make a bread pudding that totally redefines the genre.

“The donuts are so sweet," Lee tells the Feast, and "the sweet potatoes give a slightly savory aspect and depth of flavor." He adds that the last, sweet dinner course “should be decadent, unique and playful, all things that are associated with Valentine’s Day. I want the sweetest and most playful thing for dessert."

This thing definitely fits the bill. Presentation is a must for this bread pudding, which stands out on the table thanks to the toasted meringue, bright citrus, and fresh mint that sit on top. Pro tip: You'll want to invest in a pastry torch and ring mold to make it look perfect.

Here, Lee shares his recipe with The Feast.

Chef Edward Lee. Photo credit: Dan Dry.

Glazed Donut & Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Orange & Meringue

Recipe Courtesy of Edward Lee

Makes: About 6 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

2 pounds sweet potatoes

1½ cups gingersnap cookies

2 ounces melted unsalted butter

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup whole milk

1½ cups heavy cream

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 dozen glazed donuts, torn into 1 inch pieces

1 navel orange, segmented

Meringue (recipe below)

Fresh Mint, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°. Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast for 45 minutes, or until soft. Let cool slightly and scoop out flesh. Reserve 1½ cups puree for Bread Pudding and set remaining puree aside for another use.

  • Bring oven to 375°. Place cookies in a food processor and process until cookies become fine crumbs. Add 2 oz of melted butter. Firmly press cookie mixture into the bottom of a casserole pan using the bottom of a cup. Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer sweet potato mash to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Whisk in eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, and nutmeg. Mix until smooth.
  • Add the doughnut pieces to the casserole pan. Pour the custard over the doughnuts and let sit for 20 minutes, then press lightly before baking. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until custard is set and topping is browned.
  • Allow slightly to cool before portioning. While cooling, make meringue (see below).
  • Use a 4-inch ring mold to punch out four rounds of bread pudding. Place meringue into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe out a little meringue over the top of the bread pudding. Using a torch, heat the meringue until the edges are browned. Garnish with orange segments and fresh mint. Serve immediately.

Meringue

6 large egg whites

Zest of one lemon

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

Add ingredients to a stand mixer and whisk on high until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Make the meringue immediately before using.

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