Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bread Pudding with Chocolate

I've only ever had bread pudding in England. While I absolutely love it there, somehow when I cross the Atlantic ocean, my ingrained prejudice against it rears it's ugly head. Why is that? Why do Americans seem to think bread pudding is gross? When I proposed making it, my bf said "I'm not the biggest bread pudding fan, but I'll try it". Whatever the reason, this dish will change those perceptions. I promise.
I came across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs and since I am woefully in need of recipes, as I mentioned yesterday, I thought I would give it a shot. It's wonderfully easy and you need very few special ingredients. Also, as desserts go, it's not so awful. I used skim milk which always helps. Here is the recipe:

First, I got my pans ready. I buttered the 8 x 8 dish. I then put a towel on the inside of the large glass pyrex and put the smaller dish inside the pyrex, on top of the towel. At this point, I also started my tea kettle going to heat up some water. I'm going to talk more about this dish later, but isn't my new Le Creuset baking dish gorgeous?

Then I chopped up the bread and some semi-sweet baking chocolate I had left over from my chocolate-filled Russian tea cakes. You could also use raisins or put fresh fruit on top of it when it's done baking. When cutting up the bread, first I sliced the load into roughly 1 inch slices. Then I cut off the bottom of the slice and cubed the rest. You want about one layer of bread and then just sprinkle the top with chocolate. You won't need a full loaf of bread.

Then I made the custard stuff. First I mixed together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. I added a little extra cinnamon because I love it. I mixed it with a hand mixer. Then I added the melted butter and the milk and stirred it together. Next, I poured the liquid over the bread and chocolate. Using my fingers, I pushed down the bread into the liquid until all of the pieces with soaked. Then I put both pans in the oven. Then, I pulled out the shelf in the oven so that I could pour hot water into the pyrex. You want to make sure the water comes up about half way of the 8x8 pan. It's really important that the water is there so that the custard sets. I must confess, this step gave me a little trouble. Originally, I had the edges of the towel hanging outside of the large pyrex. However, once I added the water, the towel essentially served as a funnel, allowing the water to drip over the sides. So, I had to lift up the 8x8 dish and tuck the corners of the towel into the large pyrex, then return the small dish.

I baked the pudding for 65 minutes at 325. Depending on your pudding it could take a few minutes less or more. You want the custard in the center to be set, but there can still be a little of liquid. I used a fork and moved a piece of bread and was able to see the custard. We let it cool for a few minutes then ate it hot with whipped cream. It's also great cold. Thank you so much to Jane for the recipe idea! I loved it!

Oh, and my bf is now a bread pudding fan.

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