I mentioned to my friend that I was going to be baking this “four-star” chocolate bread pudding over the weekend. They asked if the words “four-star” should really be in a recipe’s name, like maybe it could be a bit presumptuous.
I hadn’t really thought about it that way since I’ve come to trust Dorie over the last 60 of her recipes I’ve tried, with her I know I don’t have to be skeptical. But yeah, not just anyone can give out those kinds of names to their creations. As I expected though, I was happy to report back that Dorie appropriately named this bread pudding “four-star”. I said “that s*** was good!” which is how I generally give reviews if I’m saying I like something… not on my blog, but that would make it way easier if I did.
This was easy to make. There really wasn’t much to it – bread, raisins, milk, cream, eggs, sugar and chocolate. You could go a step further and follow Dorie’s suggestions of serving with creme anglaise, chocolate sauce or whipped cream but I decided to just stick to a dusting of powdered sugar. I enjoyed it warm, at room temp and straight out of the fridge cold. It could do no wrong. I wasn’t disappointed and would make this again.
This might not be what you’re used to with bread pudding. So if you don’t like bread puddings, this one could maybe turn you around if you were willing to give it a shot. My experience with them can be hit or miss as too much mushiness turns me off. This version struck a good balance because the custard part generally rested on the bottom of the pan while the bread crumbs rose towards the top. This gave it a distinct texture difference that I really appreciated and enjoyed.
What I Did: I used white bread stuffing cubes that I staled in the oven for ten minutes. I was really nervous about using these cubes, but it turned out great. I used 2% milk instead of whole. I would’ve loved to have used cherries in this, but used dark raisins instead due to cost differences. I used bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips. I halved the recipe and baked in a 8×8 pan for 25 minutes.
Thanks to Lauren of A BAKING BLOG aka upper eastside chronicle for choosing Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding for the April 21st edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. To see the recipe and to find out what Lauren thought of her choice, visit her blog and check out posting date April 21st, 2009 (I can’t seem to be able to get a direct link to it, sorry!).
Next week, Kim of Scrumptious Photography has selected Chocolate Cream Tart. See you next Tuesday!
I’ve had bananas on the brain recently. It started with the Banana Sour Cream Pancakes I recently made. From those I still had some bananas left that were needing to be used so I got to looking around for a new recipe to try out.
Back in November I won The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet in a cookbook giveaway. For the last couple of months I have done a lot of looking through this book but hadn’t made a thing. I figured it was high time I got around to trying something out.
The Bananas Foster Bread Pudding seemed to be the perfect choice. It’s an easy recipe with some toasted challah, a banana custard, and butterscotch-rum sauce. Absolutely delicious! The banana flavor was really pronounced and the sauce was amazing. The only thing I wished was that I had actual banana slices to add on top, that would have made this even better.
If the rest of Cindy Mushet’s cookbook produces results like this one, I’m in trouble! Look at the size of the piece I ate all by myself. I’m not ashamed… well, maybe just a little.
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet
1 loaf (1 to 1 1/2 pounds challah, brioche or other rich, dense bread) I used challah
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon banana liqueur (or use additional rum)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extra
Preheat oven to 325. Butter or oil a 9 by 9 by 2-inch square cake pan.
Bread: Cut the crusts away from all sides of the bread. Cut into one inch cubes, spread cubes on baking sheet and toast in the oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Measure 6 cups of bread cubes and place them in the cake pan.
Custard: Peel bananas and break them into chunks. Place in food processor and puree until very smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until blended. Add banana puree and vanilla and whisk until blended. Add cream and milk and whisk until blended.
Soak Bread Cubes: Pour custard over the bread cubes in the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press down gently so all bread cubes are soaked with custard. Set aside for 30 minutes, pressing down every couple of minutes so the top bread cubes are covered with custard.
Bake: Remove plastic wrap and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until the top is browned and the custard is set. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
Make the Sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and raise heat to medium. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Cook for 2 minutes at a boil, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from heat and – away from the flame! – add the rum, banana liqueur, and vanilla. Return to heat and boil for 1 more minute, whisking. Use sauce while warm.
Serve the bread pudding warm, cut into squares and topped with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch-rum sauce. Then promise yourself you’ll go to the gym tomorrow.