Monday, April 02, 2007

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Rum Sauce

Due to snafus with finding silken tofu at the grocery store, I have to delay what I intended to make today (vegan chocolate cake) and post about something I made a while back.

Back when I had serious thoughts about working as a chef, I subscribed to all sorts of culinary magazines. This recipe comes from the January 2003 issue of Bon Appetit, and can be found online here. When I was making desserts at Almost Home Tearoom in Greencastle, IN, I brought this recipe in despite the fact that we already had a popular bread pudding. The addition of chocolate and the marvelous cinnamon rum sauce made this a fast hit.

The last time I made it was for the Mardi Gras party we had at work. Last week someone told me that they went to a restaurant in town and her husband ordered the bread pudding. She had a bite but said it "wasn't as good as mine." Ah, that's sweet. But seriously, bread pudding is such an easy thing to make, and you must try this one. (The picture features my fingers, whoops).


1 1-pound loaf brioche* or egg bread with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
Cinnamon-Rum Sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Place bread in large bowl; pour 8 tablespoons melted butter over bread and toss to coat. Add chocolate chips and toss to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
Whisk half and half, 1 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and salt in large bowl to blend. Pour over bread cubes in dish. Let stand 30 minutes, occasionally pressing bread cubes into custard. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over pudding; sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake bread pudding until puffed, brown, and set in center, about 1 hour. Serve warm with Cinnamon-Rum Sauce.

Cinnamon-Rum Sauce

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Melt unsalted butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbling and smooth, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in dark rum and vanilla extract. Serve warm.
(Cinnamon-Rum Sauce can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat, whisking occasionally, before serving.)

Jenny's notes: I have made this with brioche, and it is outstanding, but seriously, just buy a loaf or two of french bread instead. Even the flatter "Italian" bread works fine, but let it dry out a bit after cubing it up if it's too fresh. Stale bread soaks up the custard better.

I recommend tossing the bread in the custard in a bowl before pouring into baking dish, and tossing once in the pan. This will help the top pieces get as soaked as the bottom (be gentle!).

You can leave the rum out and just have a cinnamon sauce, but the alcohol cooks out and really adds a lot of flavor.

And talk about a crowd pleasing meal - if you are having friends over and own two 9x13 pans, I suggest making this in one, and Jani'ces Vegetarian Baked Ziti in the other. Your friends will be stuffed, but both can be made in advance, and are fairly easy.

Categories: Bread Pudding, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Custard
, Rum

1 comment:

Brilynn said...

It's the cinnamon rum sauce that would sucker me into this dessert!