1/2 cup (120 ml) whipping cream, plus more for whipped cream garnish
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
Brandy, as needed
Salt, to taste
In a small saucepan, combine the raisins with 1/4 cup brandy. Warm over low heat to a gentle simmer, then cover and remove from heat, Set aside until brandy is absorbed, for about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Slice the bread and toast in the oven until fairly dry but not browned, about ten minutes. When dry and cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes, should yield about 8 cups (1.9 L).
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Add the raisins with the remaining soaking liquid. Add the bread and press it into the mixture. Set aside for at least 30 minutes before baking to allow the bread to soak up the custard.
Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour the bread and custard mixture into the baking pan.
Bake at 350 F (175 C) for one hour (cover with foil after 30 minutes), until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan.
Combine the brown sugar, cream, vanilla, butter, and salt in a saucepan then whisk to blend well.
Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
Whisk in brandy to taste then whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.
Serve the bread pudding with brandy caramel sauce on the side; pour on to taste.
Garnish with whipped cream.
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