The Columbia Restaurant: Recipe #2 – White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding… these words used to make me cringe with disgust and shiver in terror. The thought of soggy bread just doesn’t generally sound appetizing for dessert… or at all for that matter. And if you add in random dried fruits as is traditional, then in my opinion it falls into the same category as three week old Fruit Cake. Ick!

However, when my husband and I went on our honeymoon cruise, my opinion was radically changed by our dessert one night – “Bitter and Blanc Bread Pudding”. In other words, dark chocolate and white chocolate bread pudding. Oh… my… goodness! It was incredible! Nothing like the traditional versions I had in the past. And since then, I have been searching for a recipe that would live up to this cruise delicacy.

Well, on our trip to The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine, FL I discovered just that – a recipe for White Chocolate Bread Pudding. This recipe is made with white chocolate in the actual dish and topped with shaved dark chocolate to make a rich, creamy, chocolate creation that just melts in your mouth. This seriously may be my new favorite dessert recipe. It’s soooo good!

This recipe does take a while to make, but it is great to make ahead and then just warm/crisp right before serving. (Actually, that is the recommended way to do it.) So, if you know in advance that you are having a dinner party, try out this tantalizing treat to wow your taste-buds and your guests.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla extract
  • 28 ounces white chocolate (about 3 1/2 cups), cut into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups egg yolks (about 12 eggs)
  • 18 ounces crusty bread, stale (about 1-2 days old)
  • White Chocolate Rum Sauce (see below recipe)
  • Dark chocolate shavings – as much as you like
  • Assorted berries for garnish (optional)
White Chocolate Rum Sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup Light Bacardi rum

Bring cream to a boil in a small pan. Take off heat and add white chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted. Add rum and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve. 

Directions

  • Heat cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla over medium heat in a large saucepan. When hot, remove from heat and add 2 1/2 cups of the white chocolate. Stir until melted.
  • Combine eggs and yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add the cream mixture into the eggs, whipping constantly as you pour.
  • Cut the bread into 1/2 inch slices and place in a large bowl. Pour mixture over bread. Press bread to absorb mix and allow bread to become soggy. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Add remaining cup of white chocolate, stir (but do not let the chocolate melt).
  • Pour mixture evenly in a 10″ x 12″ baking pan and cover with foil.
  • Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional hour until set and golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool before cutting.
  • (If serving later…. Slice bread pudding into individual portions and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350° until crispy and heated through – about 5-10 minutes.)
  • Top with White Chocolate Rum Sauce. Garnish with shaved dark chocolate and fresh fruit as desired. Serve immediately.

Tips & Alterations

  • I cubed my bread the night before making this instead of slicing it. This made for a fun appearance and it was still just as delicious.
  • I also halved the recipe since I was not making for a HUGE crowd. Cut the ingredients in half and bake in a 13″ x 9″ pan and you will have plenty for a small dinner party.  (Although, I did still use about 14-16 oz. of bread.)
  • When pouring the hot cream mixture into the eggs… stir furiously while pouring SLOWLY or you will end up with scrambled eggs. This is known as tempering your eggs. I prefer to do it by using a small measuring cup to scoop out a little hot liquid at a time and gradually add it while whipping. One the eggs get up to temperature, you can then add the rest more quickly.
  • We choose to serve this right out of the oven from baking it. It did not slice as easily as if it had been completely cooled, but it was still just as delicious.
  • The smaller your white chocolate pieces, the faster and easier they will melt. Smaller pieces makes it much easier to make the sauce for topping it. Go small… trust me.

Here are a few photos of the process and final product:

Crusty bread, cubed and ready to go.

Heating the cream mixture. Yes, that's the vanilla before I mixed it in.

White chocolate - nicely chopped.

Tempering the eggs.

Put the bread in the pan...

Pour on the creamy mixture...

And then let it soak.

Look at that golden brown bread pudding perfection.

Make the white chocolate rum sauce while the bread pudding cools.

Plate a servings worth of the dessert.

Top with the sauce.

Garnish with some dark chocolate.

Come on... you know that looks SO good. YUM!

Bon appetit!

-GG

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2 thoughts on “The Columbia Restaurant: Recipe #2 – White Chocolate Bread Pudding

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