If you read my last recipe, you’ll have noticed that despite it being a Maple Bacon flavored bread pudding, there was no maple syrup in the bread pudding itself. I learned long ago not to put maple syrup in the custard of bread pudding. I’m not saying baking bread pudding with maple syrup cannot be done well, I’m saying I haven’t been able to.
To me, a good bread pudding can be eaten warm or chilled. However, when you bake custard with maple syrup and then cool it, the sugar crystallizes. So, when you try to eat the bread pudding cold, it’s oddly crunchy.
I live alone and I always have leftovers of bread pudding, and honestly who would make the perfect amount of bread pudding regardless of the occasion? So chilling my bread pudding is a must! Now, when I did make bread pudding with maple syrup, I would reheat it to eat it, but it had to all heat past a certain point and stay at that same high temperature for a little while so that the syrup crystals would melt back in. It was just a pain to get it edible again, once it was chilled.
Regardless, I don’t think maple syrup adds too much flavor when in bread pudding. Personally, I enjoyed the subtle maple flavor that the whisky added to the maple bacon bread pudding, and I wouldn’t change the recipe at all. I had maple extract on hand in case I thought I needed it, but it was delicious as-is.