A Christmas Costa Rica Desert
Our Budin Recipe is a special Christmas Costa Rica desert, also served at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs. No festive event in Costa Rica, including Christmas, is complete without a slice and we hope you will try our Christmas Budin Recipe before visiting. Chef Jorbis’ Budin at Blue River Resort & Hot Springs’ Tiki Bar & Restaurant is a must.
During Christmas most countries enjoy a baked treat, pudding or cake, usually filled with fruits nuts and a rich spirit. In Costa Rica, Ticos love Budin, a sweet dessert made from simple ingredients but delivering a warm-richness with each bite. This Costa Rica Budin recipe is their version of bread-pudding; and, is not only served during Christmas.
The main ingredient in Budin was probably on its way to the waste bin; old bread. However, traditional Budin is best made with old bread. Before commencing the Budin recipe, let’s begin with the history of puddings.
History of Puddings
The name Budin is Spanish and, like most other things in Costa Rica, there are different opinions on its origins. One set of experts argue that the name Budin is a simple combination of Bread and Pudding, rounded into the word ‘Budin”; easy enough to believe since it is after all a bread-based pudding.
Another group emphatically says, ‘No!’ to that theory and claim the dish originated in England as a pudding and was adapted by the French as a poudin. Then somewhere along the line the word poudin was mispronounced Budin. Although that’s true it may not be how it got its name.
Some historians say, “Bread puddings appeared in Europe during the 11th century”. Actually, the history of puddings and Boudin, begins long before the 11th century. In addition, the history of both is not straight forward.
After the invention of fire, long after cooking became a formal art, the first puddings emerged from the fireside. They were prepared by boiling or steaming the ingredients to cook them. The ingredients were not your ‘typical’ items found in today’s puddings; instead they cooked fats, blood, meal, marrows, intestines, and grains. In fact, most would be classified as sausages today. The ingredients were boiled or steamed in cloth sacks or the intestines of animals. The Scottish Haggis, British Black Pudding, French Boudin Noir and Italian sanguinacco are examples of well known poudings or puddings dating back several centuries. All of them made use of the fifth-quarters of animals and gave the world their first sausages.
Much later on, in the 11th century, these cooking methods were extended to desserts; one of them, the Bread Pudding, utilized bread that was past its useful life on the table. Still, in England they used eggs, flour, bread, beef marrow, and currants to make a steamed Christmas pudding, which was not baked in an oven.
For a greater insight into the history and complexity of British puddings see- Some Interesting English Puddings.
Similar puddings are recorded from the 1800’s. They made a similar dessert making use of crumbled sponge cakes instead of bread; again stale was the preferred choice. Freshly baked bread is never used; the reason is scientific, fresh bread does not readily absorb the liquids, when soaked, like staler bread will. Fresh breads were first enjoyed at the table and leftovers were saved for the pudding. Similar English poudings (not a misspelling) were called Cabinet Poudings, Chancellor’s Poudings or Newcastle Poudings.
They are all lifted to another level of decadence by the addition of a ‘shot of brandy, cognac or wine’ before serving. This was as true then and it is true today; ‘spirits’ give puddings and Budin their reputation as the ultimate ‘comfort-foods’.
Serve Budin slightly warm or at room temperature, to enhance its soft texture and rich flavor for a wonderful ending to any meal. Remember to add your favorite topping as an extra special treat.
1 Loaf white bread (a day or 2 old is better than freshly baked bread)
2 Cups Full Cream Cow’s Milk*
1 Cup Coconut Milk*
*If Coconut Milks is not available, 4 Cups Full Cream Cow’s Milk is a good substitute.
2 oz. Raisins
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (liquid)
½ tsp. Nutmeg (powdered)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Eggs Beaten
¾ tsp. Cinnamon
½ Cup Butter
¾ tsp. Salt
Both the crust and middles of the bread are used in making this dish. The best bread to use for this recipe is white bread that is no longer fresh but not yet mouldy.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare the surface of an oven-safe dish by generously rubbing it with the butter.
- Using the fingers, break the bread into small pieces (about 1” across) and place in the prepared baking dish.
- Distribute the raisins between the bread.
- Mix the milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and whisk briskly for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
- Beat the eggs and then combine with the mixture above.
- Soak the pieces in the liquid mixture (cow’s milk, coconut milk, etc.)
- Make sure all pieces are soft and well saturated in the milk mixture.
- Place dish in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is golden brown.
- Keep baking until a clean knife or skewer inserted into the Budin comes out clean; then the Budin is cooked and ready to be removed for cooling.
While it is cooling, a ‘little’ alcohol (rum, port, brandy) may be drizzled or *misted on the surface.
*Fill a clean ‘spray’ bottle with the liquore of your choice; use it to spray the surface.
The spirits can be added after the Budin is plated for serving. This way only those persons wishing alcohol will have it added.
A Slice of Budin, with or without alcohol, is best when topped with whipped cream, brandy-butter sauce or rum-sauce (See Below). Additionally, a scoop of ice cream on top of a slice is a whole new adventure.
1 Stick Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ cup Whipping Cream
¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
¾ tsp. Grated Nutmeg
3 Tbls Dark Rum or Brandy
- Using a saucepan heated on a low flame, combine the butter and sugar stirring until smooth.
- Continue stirring and add all other ingredients.
- Serve warm and refrigerate any balance.
- Spoon the warm sauce over the Budin slices before serving.
Enjoy Budin at the Blue River Resort and Hot Springs this Christmas or at home any time of year. These blogs containing Costa Rica Christmas recipes began in November, so it’s time to be getting into the spirit. Get the family together, as is done in Costa Rica, where the Christmas dinner involves a lot of teamwork and organization to prepare the entire meal. That way, you become somewhat of an ‘authority’ before your trip to Blue River Costa Rica Resort & Hot Springs. Having tasted these delicious dishes, such as Budin, will also have you in the spirit for your holiday in Costa Rica. Each recipe, produces amazing results.