EATS, DRINKS + CELEBRATE | Who dat? It’s our Southern Bread Pudding with Whiskey Hard Sauce, and all the delish details of the Bayou Bon Vivant festival in Norfolk


The Bayou Bon Vivant Cajun Music, Food & Art Celebration is a great opportunity to indulge in the flavors of New Orleans. This three-day celebration of the tastes, tunes, and traditions of the Crescent City offers everything from juicy handfuls of crawfish to world-renowned N’awlins jazz musicians in the vibrant spirit of Louisiana.

The event, presented by our friends at Norfolk Festevents, takes place Friday-Sunday, May 19-21, 2023 at the Town Point Park along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront. Look for crafters, exhibits, music, and mouthwatering Cajun dishes such as beignets, gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, and more. 

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Bread pudding has long been a favorite way for frugal cooks to use up every scrap of food. The addition of common pantry items like milk and eggs (and a bit of sweetener in the case of sweet bread pudding; there are savory bread puddings too) turned a stale loaf into an enjoyable dish.

Enhance our Southern Bread Pudding with a Whiskey Hard Sauce. 

Hard sauces such as this whiskey sauce are a time-honored way of adding sweetness and kick from the key elements of sugar and bourbon to desserts. In addition to enjoying over bread pudding, try it with ice cream, or slices of toasted pound cake, banana bread, zucchini bread, and the like. It’s also wonderful over puddings and drizzled atop grilled fruit such as peaches or pineapple.


5 egg yolks

2 cups heavy cream

6 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of one orange or lemon

1 loaf day-old bread

1-2 cups pecan halves, toasted

Butter, at room temperature


1/2 cup Virginia bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch


Make the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 0-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. 

Whisk the egg yolks, cream, sugar, vanilla together, and citrus zest in a large bowl. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and combine with the egg mixture until the cubes are coated.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Add pecan halves and toss. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with hard sauce.

Make the hard sauce: Combine the bourbon and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar. Set aside. 

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl.

Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the cream, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.

Add the bourbon mixture to the cream mixture in the saucepan and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Set aside and cool completely before serving. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. 

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