Tuesday again! That means all the members of the Tuesdays With Dorie group are making Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding from Dorie Greenspan's awesome book, Baking From My Home to Yours. The recipe can be found on pages 410-11 in the book, but you can also get the recipe from Lauren at A Baking Blog (a.k.a. Upper East Side Chronicle). Check it out, if you like bread pudding, this one's for you.
I don't recall ever having had bread pudding before. I wasn't terribly excited to make this, but moreso because of the whole milk, heavy cream and lots of eggs! Well, I decided to go ahead and make half the recipe and lots of lower fat substitutes. Now that means I don't really know if this turned out how it should have or if something went wrong. A half recipe made six perfectly full ramekins.
Ready for the oven after resting and begin beaten by a spoon. ;)
The chocolate I ended up using was a dark chocolate bar with orange peel by Chocolove. I thought the orange flavor would be really good. The bar also had little bits of almond in it. So I took it a step further and added some slivered almonds as well. I only wish I'd have had some orange to add some zest, especially after tasting it--the orange flavor was quite subtle, but good! This recipe was actually very simple to make. I wish that meant more people (i.e. Kevin and boys) would have liked it more and eaten it all up. (I made this on Sunday and there are still 2 1/2 ramekins full in the fridge. I actually meant to offer some of this to Tes tonight, but completely forgot.
When I put them in the oven to bake, I wasn't sure how long to bake the little dishes, so I set the timer for 15 minutes to start. Somehow someone turned the timer off at some point and as I went about other things, realized it wasn't set and I had no idea how long it had been baking. A knife inserted in the center came out clean, so I called it good.
I also added the dried cherries as well as some orange flavored dried cranberries. I really liked it having eaten about 1/4 of one. Scott ate all of his, Parker, Taylor and Sam tasted it and didn't like it and Kevin took a few courtesy bites for me. He said it wasn't bad, just not his thing. Scott liked it, but mentioned that there were too many nuts. I really liked the chew from the nuts and dried fruit, but it may have had a little too much. The custard part wasn't super creamy and there was a lot of bread (maybe too much? I measured the bread on my scale to get 6 ounces.) I used part of a loaf of Italian sweet bread that I found at the local grocery store bakery. No brioche or challah to be found nearby! So the short of it is--I liked it, but would go for something else chocolate if I had to choose.
I was out of whipped cream, but did serve this with a little added Cool Whip. Ahh, even better now.
Here is the recipe as I made it.
Chocolate Bread Pudding, adapted by Katrina from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours
6 ounces Italian Sweet Bread
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup orange flavored dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
1/2 cup heavy cream (I wish I would have just used 2% milk or something)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Egg Beaters with touch of yolk
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.2 oz. bar of Chocolove Orange Peel 55% Dark Chocolate, chopped
2 oz. bar of Lindt Orange Extreme Dark Chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Have six ramekins ready and a roasting pan big enough to hold them.
Cut the bread in to 1 inch cubes. Spread it out on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Toss into a bowl with the fruit and nuts.
Bring the milk and cream just to a boil.
Fill a pot or teakettle with water and put it on to boil. When the water boils, turn off the heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolk and sugar together in a bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in a little of the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs so they don't curdle. While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the rest of the hot milk. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk it in gently until it is melted and the custard is smooth. Pour the custard in with the bread pieces. With a ladle, spoon enough of the custard-bread mixture into each ramekin to fill them. Let sit on counter for 30 minutes. (I actually only did about 15 minutes.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put each of the ramekins into the roasting pan, line the sides of the pan with paper towel and carefully pour water into the pan to fill it about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes (then test with a knife inserted in the center to see if it comes out clean). Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Does that look correct? I really have no idea, but I personally liked the combination of flavors and I like that it still worked great with all the lower fat substitutions. At any rate, it was fun to make it and I can now say I've made and tasted bread pudding and CHOCOLATE at that! ;) Thanks for the great pick, Lauren. Check out Dorie's REAL recipe on the link to Lauren's blog above and go check out all the other bread puddings out there on the Tuesdays With Dorie blogroll.