Thursday, November 15, 2012

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

I usually make this every Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's not that we need it as we most always have 20 other desserts, but someone inevitably would say "hey, why didn't you make the white chocolate bread pudding?" 
Long ago bread pudding was common in most kitchens. It would only take a few ingredients that wereon hand to make a scrumptious dessert. Most households would have stale bread, eggs and cream. Meat could be added for a full on meal. Bread pudding is one of the easiest desserts to fix. I have found that it freezes well too, so you can always have a gourmet dessert on hand. This recipe originates from the Palace Cafe in New Orleans.

One 24-inch baguette, ends trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch slices
4 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
15 ounces white chocolate, broken into small pieces
3 large eggs
12 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, broken into small pieces
Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 275°. Stand the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until dry but not browned. Transfer the bread to a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish in an even layer. Increase the oven temperature to 350°.
In a large saucepan, heat the cream with the milk and sugar until hot but not steaming. Remove from the heat, add the white chocolate and stir until melted.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the egg yolks. In a slow, thin stream, whisk the hot cream into the eggs until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread and let stand until soggy, about 20 minutes. Press the bread into the custard occasionally.
Cover the pudding with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil; bake for 20 minutes longer, or until golden and puffed. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the white chocolate and stir until completely smooth.
Cut the bread pudding into squares and decorate with the chocolate shavings. Serve warm, with the white chocolate sauce.

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