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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

White Chocolate and Vanilla Bread Pudding

This. This is what we had for Christmas breakfast at our house. Along with scrambled eggs, sausage, clementines and hot grog. But for me, this was the star. I have had my eye on this recipe for almost two years. No idea what I was waiting for. It just seemed like a special occasion dish, so I guess I was waiting for Christmas.

It was amazing. It took about 1 1/2 loaves of challah bread from my grocery store. Unlike in some bread pudding recipes that have you soak the bread overnight, this recipe only soaks for about 10 minutes, enough for the bread to saturate but there was still a lot of liquid left in my bowl. I was afraid it would be soggy in the middle if I used it all, so I spooned all the bread into my baking dish, then poured about half of the remaining liquid over. It cooked up perfectly - moist and custardy but not soggy or raw-ish, which is the worst. And you can't have the worst on Christmas!

This is obviously an indulgently sweet treat, with all that sugar, cream, vanilla and white chocolate, so what a balancing delight it was to have just a few tart raspberries tossed in, to keep your palate in check.
White Chocolate and Vanilla Bread Pudding
10 cups leftover challah, brioche, or egg bread, cut into chunks or cubes
1 1/2 cups light cream or half-and-half
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
7 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
1/2 cup currants or frozen raspberries

Finishing Touches:

Confectioners' sugar and ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
Whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan or baking dish.

2. In a large mixing bowl, place bread chunks. In a separate bowl, mix together light cream, milk, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, flour and salt. Pour over bread and let stand 10 minutes or so to absorb. Fold in white chocolate and raspberries.

3. Spoon into prepared pan (if there is liquid left in the bowl, pour about half of it over bread.) Bake until firm to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes. Dust top with a little confectioners' sugar and cinnamon. Offer with whipped cream and raspberries on the side, if desired.

Recipe from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman
Click here for printable recipe

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