I couldn't pick just one dessert that is my favorite in the world, but bread pudding with vanilla sauce is definitely in the top 10. I first had it when my dad took my brother and I on a cruise to Alaska. (By the 4th day on the ship, the kitchen had so much stale bread that they served bread pudding at the breakfast, lunch *and* dinner buffets for the rest of the week. I didn't mind a bit. It was delicious!!)
Tonight, I just had to use the 2% milk that my brother bought several weeks ago (and never drank a drop of)... It was just this side of going bad. Well, there were 8 cups of it, and I thought... bread pudding! Double the usual amount of milk needed, but... that just means that I had to make double the recipe (yay!).
I used the recipe from my Mom's old "The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery" (published in 1971. A wonderful book! Everyone should have one!) and modified it slightly (and this is half the amount I made), as follows:
4 cups milk
6 slices of stale bread
1/4 cup of Splenda for Baking (instead of sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of nutmeg
dash of cinnamon
butter for bread
Butter one side of bread slices. Scald the milk. Beat the eggs well and combine with Splenda for Baking, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking constantly. Pour the milk mixture into a baking dish, place slices of bread (butter side up) on top. Place dish in a pan of hot water and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 - 50 minutes.
Then I made the vanilla sauce, also with a recipe from "The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery" which I slightly altered.
2 cups Half 'n Half (didn't have any cream or whole milk - recipe called for one cup each)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Splenda for Baking (obviously it called for white sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
Scald the Half 'n Half (or cream and milk). Beat the egg yolks and Splenda for Baking together, then pour the scalded mixture over them, whisking briskly. Return to heat and bring to boiling point without actually boiling. Cool and add vanilla.