After trying many bread pudding recipes, and incorporating ingredients that we like, I have found the perfect combination for my family. They have told me to stop trying because this is IT for them...........:-)
Put broken bread pieces in a large blow and pour the heavy cream over the bread. Stir very gently to make sure all pieces are coated. Allow the bread to soak for an hour.
A few minutes before the hour of soaking is over, combine the eggs, sugar, 1/2 stick room temp butter, 2 T almond extract and 1 T vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Using the mixer, beat ingredients until smooth and slightly fluffy.
Gently fold the egg/sugar mixture into the bread mixture and put into a buttered 9x13 dish. Bake for 55 minutes in a 325 degree oven. At the end of the 55 minutes, raise temperature to 350 and bake 10-15 minutes more......this will make the top a little more golden. Sometimes I have to bake 5 or 10 minutes longer. Pudding should be jiggly in the middle, but not all over.
While pudding is baking, in a small sauce pan, heat the butter and sugar. Do not boil, heat until the ingredients become incorporated and remove from heat to cool. About 10 or 15 minutes before pudding is done, add the 1/2 cup sour cream, tand 1T almond extract to the cooled butter mixture. Beat by hand until sauce is creamy.
When pudding is done, and has cooled slightly, I use the sauce as a glaze over the whole pudding, pulling each side away from the dish and making sure sauce goes down the sides. However, you can put the sauce on individual slices of the pudding as you serve it. Any left-over pudding should be stored in the fridge, however you can microwave individual portions for 1 minute before serving.