Sorry – not a great picture. Sometimes I plan well, other times, I don't. This was a don't.
This week's recipe was chosen by Lauren, of Upper East Side Chronicle. You can find the recipe instructions either on Lauren's site or on pages 410-411 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.
The Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding is, in my humble opinion, super simple to put together, although I made it more involved than necessary because instead of just getting a loaf of bread at the store and letting it go stale, I made bread JUST for this purpose. Well, I made some loaves for the family to eat, too, but the main purpose of that round of baking was so I could have this – what you see below – 12 ounces of bread…stale.
To further the staling (is that a word?) process, I cubed the bread and just let it sit out while I took my time gathering everything else I'd need to make the pudding.
Like the milk and heavy cream.
And the whole eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.
Oh – and the chocolate! I'd read in the P & Q section of the TWD site that some people didn't think the 60% chocolate had enough chocolatey oomph, flavor-wise, so I made a little note to myself to get something with a higher percentage when I was at the store.
Bill actually ended up doing the shopping, and he got me 4 oz of 60% bittersweet and a bar of 100%, which is just unsweetened chocolate. I used all of the unsweetened, and half of the bittersweet. VERY chocolatey – and not too sweet. It was a rather grown-up tasting dessert. And there's not a thing wrong with that!
But back to the process. I brought the milk and cream to a boil, tempered the egg mixture, and then poured that over the chocolate.
I stirred the mixture together until all the chocolate had melted and combined with the custard mixture…
And then poured it all over the bread cubes in my pyrex baking dish.
The bread cubes were like little sponges.
Per Dorie's instructions, I let the bread and custard mixture sit for half an hour.
After the 30 minutes were up, the bread was well and truly soggy with the chocolate custard mixture, and it was time to bake.
Into the 350 oven it all went, in a makeshift water bath (I don't have a metal roasting pan big enough for the pyrex to sit in…well, I do, but it's ENORMOUS and high-sided, and I only take it out of the back end of my cupboard for things like turkeys and legs of lamb and roast beef. I used a sheet pan with inch-high sides, and that seemed to work just fine.
Boy, did it smell good!
I baked the pudding for 40 minutes, and then let it sit and cool for the rest of the afternoon.
This was Saturday, by the way. Our nephew, Ray, and his girlfriend, The Girl, were up staying with us, and Ray was going to be running the Boston Marathon on Monday. Bill cooked a ton of ribs – including boneless Fiery Meat of Death creations that left most of us teary-eyed and burning-mouthed. I made cole slaw and a warm pasta salad (and bread) to round out the meal.
And I served the bread pudding for dessert. There were 8 of us in total, including the kids. Neither child liked the bread pudding. I'm thinking it wasn't as sweet as they'd have liked, though Alex does like dark chocolate. Or it could have been a texture thing…or maybe they just ate too many ribs and didn't have any room left in their overly ambitious little tummies.
I dished it up for the 6 adults, and everyone seemed to like it. A lot.
Except…me. And it's not the recipe at all – it's just that, try as I might, I don't really like bread pudding. Not that my quality of life will be diminished if I don't like it – I may even save myself a pound or so of weight gain every year because of it. But I really thought I would like it because of the chocolate. It smelled great. But it just wasn't for me. Like I said, though, the rest of the adults liked it, and it was gone before Monday. So that should tell you something!
The rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie gang have probably already posted their opinions and adventures and pictures, (I'm late) so go on and check them out!