Victor Mature's daughter joined me for this special episode to kick off the virtual TCM Film Festival.
Victor Mature is one of the most underrated stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. He appeared in a diverse array of films including musical comedies, western, film noir and Biblical epics. I was delighted to chat with his daughter about his life, career and his favorite foods.
I found a few recipes attributed to Victor Mature, but Victoria suggested that we make Bourbon Orange Bread Pudding, which was his most favorite dessert.
Bourbon Orange Bread Pudding
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/8 teaspoon of orange oil or orange zest
6-10 ounces of cubed bread or croissants (enough to loosely fill 9x11 baking dish)
Preparation *Important! Do this a day in advance!*
Whisk together eggs and sugar until completely smooth.
Add all liquids to eggs and whisk until combined.
Add cubed bread/croissants, stir until evenly coating with custard.
Pour into buttered 9x11 baking/casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
Remove bread pudding dish from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Remove foil, bake additional 15-20 minutes or until puffy & golden brown on top, and center is all set (does not jiggle).
Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Caramel Bourbon Sauce
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 heavy cream
1/2 cup bourbon
2 tablespoon corn syrup
Gently heat the heavy cream (do not boil) in a small saucepan or microwave; set aside.
Bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Cook until the sugar is dissolved, gently swirling the pan & washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush (this prevents sugar granules from getting stuck to the side of the pan.)
Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook without stirring until the sugar caramelizes, about 5-6 minutes; it will be deep golden amber in color.
Remove from the heat and stir in the heated cream.
Once the cream is incorporated, stir in the bourbon.
Return the mixture to moderate heat and cook one minute while continuously stirring.
Remove from heat and allow to cool 10-15 minutes; can be served warm or at room temperature (can also be made ahead, stored in fridge, and reheated.)
Victoria is a classically trained singer who has won national competitions and performed internationally. She earned her B.A. in music from the University of California at San Diego—an accomplishment her father insisted upon. A certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, Victoria has starred in one feature film playing Rosalind in As You Like It (2016). She has tried her hand at directing and fight choreography and has acted in several modern and Shakespearean plays.
The Final Result
I've learned a lot on every episode I've done of Hollywood Kitchen. There was certainly a bit of a learning curve on the bread pudding. When I made my first batch of bread/custard, I left it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours, as my apartment was way too hot to use the stove. By the time I finally baked it, the bread was far too drenched and the final result was a flat, soggy mess. On my second try, I only left the bread in the refrigerator about 6 hours and I used a kitchen scale to weigh the bread. The recipe called for 6-10 ounces, so I made sure to have at least 10 ounces.
I accidentally spilled a lot of the corn syrup on my stove and floor and made a huge mess. That stuff is so sticky so proceed with caution. When I finished the sauce, I put it in a separate container in the refrigerator. The bourbon and sugar/cream separated and I had to stir it a bit to get the ingredients to blend again. I actually liked the cold sauce on the bread pudding. It is very hot in Los Angeles right now, that worked as a nice, cool way to eat this dessert.
This Bourbon Orange Bread Pudding is a winner and I had a great time chatting with Victoria. This would be a great item to eat while watching the virtual TCM Film Festival this weekend!
If you are new to Victor Mature, here are some of his most famous films. You can find them on TCM and various streaming services, but of course the big screen is BEST if you have that opportunity!
This picture was taken of Victoria and I right before the pandemic hit in mid-March 2020. The last film I saw on the big screen was THE LONG HAUL starring Victor Mature. I am living for the day when I can see films on the big screen again!