April 07, 2012

Oh I couldn't... Well, maybe just a little

Bread Pudding is one of those desserts people just don't make very often anymore, since carbs have been deemed the devil and all...

So of course I've decided to make it, put 3 different kinds of chocolate in it and cover it with a sauce that tastes like melted ice cream.

I figure this is the perfect indulgence after a month of Lenten sacrifice.   It would make a great dessert after Easter dinner or quite honestly anytime.  It is one of the easiest desserts to make.  It requires very little effort and it does not demand hours of babysitting to ensure perfection.

Cut up some old bread, mix it up with a few other ingredients, let it soak for a bit while you get on with other things and then put it in the oven to bake.  I mean really, what else can you ask for in a dessert?

Now, the sauce does require a bit more effort, but if you're not into that day, skip it.  The bread pudding is good enough to stand on its own, however I won't lie...  the addition of the sauce transforms this to ethereal goodness. 

Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise
  • 2 lbs brioche bread
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cups half & half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp coarse brown sugar
Brioche is a buttery, eggy bread that is perfect for this, but if you can't find it use french bread or plain white bread.

  1. Cube bread into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Melt butter and pour over bread.  Toss to evenly coat bread with the melted butter.

     3.  Add chocolate chips and toss to combine.
     4.  Pour into a large, deep baking dish. 
        (a half size disposable aluminum pan is perfect)

     5.  Whisk together the rest of the ingredients
          (except the coarse brown sugar).
     6.   Pour over the bread and press down to ensure
           that every piece of bread gets immersed.
     7.  Let it soak for about 45 minutes, then sprinkle
          the coarse brown sugar on top.
     8.  Cover and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover
          and bake an additional 15 minutes.
     9.  The bread pudding should be set, but not dry.
    10.  Let it stand for about 20 minutes before cutting.

Creme Anglaise

  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  1. First, get a medium sized fine mesh strainer and set it over a medium bowl.
  2. Place this inside of a larger bowl filled with ice water.  The sauce will be poured through the strainer and into the chilled bowl to stop it from cooking once it has reached the proper consistency.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, half & half and the vanilla bean.  Cook over low to medium heat just until it barely comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks just until combined.
  5. Whisk in about a half cup of the hot milk mixture very slowly in a thin stream. This is called "tempering" the eggs so they don't scramble when you add them back into the hot milk.
  6. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.  The sauce should be thick enough that when you dip a spoon into it & run your finger down the back of the spoon it will stay separated.  (see pic above)
  7. Immediately strain the sauce into the bowl over the ice water.  
  8. Pour the warm creme anglaise over the bread pudding.   Refrigerate any leftover sauce in an airtight container.

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