Bread Pudding Without The Bread

In Part One of Allrecipes AllStar Brand Ambassador challenge for February I had to make, review and optionally blog about Fiber One Chocolate Peanut Butter Haystacks and I did. Of course I switched things up from the original recipe but that is kind of par for the course when it comes to me and recipes. Part Two of the February Challenge was to then take the Fiber One Cereal and work it into our own personal recipe. This is the story of that challenge.

This year may be a Leap Year but even with that extra day, February is still the shortest month and as I looked at the calendar on Friday morning, I realized that the end of the month was fast approaching and I had yet to complete the second half of my Fiber One assignment. A quick scan of some of the other personal recipes that had been tried told me that there wasn’t much that you could do with Fiber One Cereal that hadn’t already been tried. Then the Feng Shui of my Friday got frazzled (another blog for another time but I digress) and making up a recipe for Fiber One was about the furthest thing from my mind. When all had finally settled, I suddenly found myself with time, opportunity & motive so I retired to the kitchen and began to work.

If you know anything about my cooking, you know that I like to freestyle off of a basic recipe. I have always believed that if you know how to make a few basic dishes and/or combinations, you can make just about anything. Now my original thought had been to “bread” a protein with ground up Fiber One but after the texture of the haystacks, I really didn’t see how that was going to work for me. I thought about using it as a thickening agent in a sauce or soup or pasta but I just couldn’t think of which one of my soups, sauces or pastas it could work in. I also thought about using it as a garnish but as we all know, when you use a main basket ingredient as an afterthought or garnish, you will get CHOPPED so that idea went out the window. That’s when it hit me. Bread Pudding. I had made a bagel bread pudding for the Super Bowl so why not try a spin on the same thing using Fiber One.

A quick check of the pantry told me I had plenty of raisins and in the back I found a bag of dried cherries too. I also grabbed two granny smith apples and within minutes I had them diced and sautéing in butter & brown sugar. After a few minutes, I tossed in a half cup each of raisins & cherries, turned off the heat and let them plump in the covered pan. In a mixing bowl I combined one third of a cup of brown sugar, four eggs, two and a half cups of half & half, one tablespoon of vanilla, one teaspoon of cinnamon & one teaspoon of red sea salt (a weakness – I have to use it in everything). I then spooned the apples, raisins & cherries into the bowl and gave them all a swirl. Then it was time for the Fiber One Cereal. I was hoping that one eight ounce pouch would be enough and luckily it was. As I stirred it in, I kept thinking that this just looked like a big bowl of cereal & milk but I had faith. Much like I had with the Bagel Bread Pudding, I let this mixture sit & soak while stirring occasionally for about twenty minutes. It had thickened a little but the cereal on top was still slightly on the crunchy side. No matter, I buttered a pie dish and then poured it all in stirring and flattening as I went. It fit perfectly. There was no room for overflow but I was kind of hoping the dish would rise like a soufflé instead of pouring over the edges. I tossed it in a 375 degree oven, set the time for 40 minutes and started to pray to the kitchen gods.

Several checks and forty minutes later an inserted toothpick came out clean in several spots and I set the slightly puffed up “bread” pudding on a rack to cool. It smelled great but it still looked a lot like a bowl of cereal. As I was to find out later when I cut into the pudding, the top layer of cereal had stayed whole and hard in the heat while everything underneath had turned soft and didn’t resemble Fiber One Cereal at all. I did cut out a big serving using a measuring without a handle and then dusted the top with powdered sugar. It did help to dress up the Fiber One on top a little. In retrospect, I should have probably flipped over the serving so that the baked cereal was on the bottom but I am not sure that it would have helped. Maybe I need to cover the dish after it comes out of the oven so that the moisture & heat soften up that top layer.

Top on the Top or Top on the Bottom, it doesn’t really matter, I took a bite. It was good. It wasn’t great but it was about what I expected. The crusty top was a little hard but the cereal underneath had combined well with the pudding & fruit. The graininess of the fiber in the Haystacks was not noticeable in the “bread” pudding. A scoop of Cool Whip made it even better. I may not serve it at a family gathering but I will consider it for a potluck this summer since we have a box leftover.

Come back next time when we don’t discuss monthly food challenges and I try to think of something remotely relevant to write about like what else I found while digging in the fridge & pantry that I could use for a “bread” pudding.

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Swampy’s Kitchen & Behind The Shades. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Doug Matthews.


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