Mango Coconut Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

When we had our cooking school in the Caribbean, this was the very favorite dessert we offered.  Even people who don't like bread pudding went for this dish.


1/2 loaf day-old bread, such as Italian or baguette (You can use more bread and simply increase the rest of the ingredients.  This recipe doesn't need to be precise.)

2-3 cups whole milk or 2% boxed milk*

2 tablespoons Butter Olive Oil

2 large eggs

1/2 cup light brown sugar or white sugar

1 cup ripe mango, diced (frozen and thawed is fine)

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teapoon salt

Rum Sauce

1 cup sugar, light brown or white

1/2 cup water

3/8 cup rum, white, dark or coconut (we like Mount Gay)

1 tablespoon sour orange or lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Spray a 9 or 10 inch casserole or cake pan with cooking spray.  Dice bread into 1/2 inch cubes.  Place bread in a large bowl and add 2/3 of the milk and butter.  Add as much milk as necessary to make the bread soggy but not sopping wet.  Let it sit about 5 minutes.  If the mixture still looks dry, add a little more milk.

Whisk eggs lightly.  To the eggs, add the sugar, mango, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt.  Gently mix the egg mixture in with the bread and milk.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature with rum sauce drizzled on top.

To prepare the rum sauce, combine the sugar, rum, juice, vanilla and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and starts to bubble.  Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and cook until sauce just slightly thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.

*Shelf stable boxed milk (or box milk as we called it in the Caribbean) is slightly thicker than fresh milk so you can use a lower fat content box milk to replace higher fat content fresh milk.  Since there are few cows in the Caribbean, we relied on boxed milk during hurricane season when the milk boat from the US couldn't dock because of high winds.  Who knew that was a problem.  We used a lot of this milk since it's great for cooking!