There are lots of people who claim not to be able to bake. This dessert is so simple, anyone can make it. Honest. If you have never made dessert before because you don’t think you can bake, bread puddings can be your “thing”. It is E.A.S.Y. Not “easy as pie” easy, because those aren’t. Like crazy easy. So easy, my children (both under 12 years old) have made it. Why is bread pudding so simple? Someone else has done the work! Specifically, whoever made the bread. You are just adding some milk and cream, sugar, and eggs, at the basic level. If you can cut bread into squares and mix together a few ingredients, you can make a spectacular dessert.
And, unless they read this blog, no one will know how easy it is.
This dessert is my Christmas Eve dessert. It serves a large crowd and requires little prep time or mess. It can be an Irish dessert for St. Patrick’s Day if you flavor it with Bailey’s. It can really be a great dessert for any occasion. The sauce can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
The recipe below is inspired by this recipe at epicurious.com.
Dark and White Chocolate Bread Pudding With Cream Sauce
Serves: A crowd
Prep Time: 5 minutes and 30 minutes of soaking
Cook Time: 60 minutes
2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur (may substitute Irish Cream Sauce or any similar liqueur)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
12 ounces of Challah or Brioche Bread, cut in 1 inch cubes
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream, separated (1 1/2 cups and a 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup whole milk
For the sauce:
In a heavy saucepan, bring the first four ingredients to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small cup, mix together the cornstarch and water well. Whisk into the cream mixture. Stir constantly until the mixture slightly thickens. About 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.
For the bread pudding:
Stir together the bread and chocolates in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, vanilla, 1 1/2 cups of cream and the milk. Add the cream mixture to the bread mixture and soak for about 30 minutes.
While the bread is soaking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan (or any similarly sized vessel).
If during the soaking, you notice that the bread is dry-ish and there’s no more liquid in the bowl, add some additional milk or cream. You want your bread to be rather moist, not dry.
Add the bread and cream mixture to the baking pan. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream to the pan, distributing the cream evenly. Sprinkle the top of the pudding evenly with the two tablespoons of sugar.
Bake for about 60 minutes, or until the edges of the pudding are golden and the mixture is set in the center. For me, usually between 50-60 minutes. Top with the cream mixture and serve.
It’s really that easy!