Who knows if St. Patrick would have liked bread pudding? Or, in fact, if he ever had a chance to try some.
But in honor of his day, I’m making a bread pudding to take to a St. Paddy’s Day party – I adapted the recipe from one that the hostess gave me - it has white and dark chocolate – I used the bittersweet version - and is topped with a creamy sauce made with Bailey’s Irish cream. (Ooooh, I did manage to leave some to put in the sauce.)
She found the recipe on epicurious.com (from Bon Appetit originally), so how can I go wrong? The BP has been in the oven for a half hour as I write this, and the chocolate aroma is incredible.
I made the sauce yesterday, which I’ll bring in a small pitcher for pouring over the individual portions. The original recipe called for 14 cups of bread cubes, but I used only 10 cups because I like a custardy, rather than a dense BP.
I just peeked in the oven – the chocolate is starting to ‘bubble up’ and the top is golden and crusty. Almost time to take it out. I can’t wait!
It’s fun to create bread puddings with a holiday theme. At the moment I’m working on Easter BPs, including a delectable one with those chocolate eggs that are so hard to resist. Stay tuned for the next installment: Easter bread pudding.
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2003)
WHITE AND DARK CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING WITH IRISH CREAM SAUCE
2 cups half & half
6 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
10 cups 3/4-inch cubes French bread with crust
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces Ghiardelli’s white chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
For sauce: Bring cream, liqueur, sugar, and vanilla to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Mix cornstarch and 2 teaspoons water in small bowl to blend; whisk into cream mixture. Boil until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
For bread pudding: Combine bread, chocolate, and white chocolate in large bowl; toss to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla in another large bowl to blend. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups cream and milk. Add cream mixture to bread mixture; stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer bread mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup cream. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake pudding until edges are golden and custard is set in center, about 1 hour. Cool pudding slightly.
Drizzle bread pudding with sauce and serve warm.
Bon Appétit, November 2003
You can view the complete recipe online at: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/108851