Ina’s 30-Second Dessert Hack Is Life-Changing

How easy is that?

May 13, 2020
Ina Garten with Fennel Soup Gratin, as seen on Barefoot Contessa: Back to the Basics, season 18.

Ina Garten with Fennel Soup Gratin, as seen on Barefoot Contessa: Back to the Basics, season 18.



Get The All-New Food Network Kitchen App

Download Food Network Kitchen now to sign up and take advantage of the latest offer and get 40+ live classes a week, hundreds of on-demand cooking classes, in-app grocery ordering and so much more.

Ina Garten is known for her elaborate meals and perfect parties, but she always has little tricks up her sleeve to make these meals effortless. On the season premiere of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro, Ina shares her hack for the easiest dessert sauce ever. Her magic ingredient is good vanilla ice cream used in a way you’d never expect.

In the episode, Ina turns day-old bread into a spectacular brioche bread pudding and tops it with this magic, albeit easy, sauce. She admits that bread pudding “doesn’t seem that special, but when you make a really good one, everyone wants to have it.” One of her tricks is to add two different textures by slicing some of the bread, and letting it soak into the custard, and cubing the rest for the top. The cubed bread will toast in the oven resulting in two different textures. “Flavor is really important to me of course, but the texture is equally important,” explains Ina.

Ina uses buttery brioche, but she suggests playing around with the bread. “If you raise the bar on the bread,” she says, “you really change the quality of the bread pudding.” After the custard-soaked bread rests, she bakes the pudding in a bain marie, a hot water bath to the lay people, so that it doesn’t overcook.

Ina’s magic sauce comes in when she serves the bread pudding with a drizzle of creme anglaise. “Here’s a trick for creme anglaise,” says Ina. “Vanilla ice cream is creme anglaise that’s been frozen. All you just have to do is defrost some ice cream and, voila, you’ve got creme anglaise.” Just pop some ice cream in the microwave for a few seconds and drizzle it around your perfect bread pudding or another dessert. Sometimes store-bought is truly fine.

Be sure to watch the new season of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro for more great tips and tricks from Ina, Saturdays at 12:30|11:30c.

Don't Miss

Next Up