Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Feb 19, 2013

White Chocolate & Blueberry Bread Pudding

Libations used: 2 Tbs Frangelico...
Libations left over: None...
Even though it's still the winter, the blueberries have been looking awesome at the grocery stores and markets.  Maybe it's the brief hot weekends we've been having, but I've been stocking up on them for a couple of weeks.  Since we're still getting these cold nights, I was absolutely craving bread pudding.  My copy of Food Porn Daily has a summer recipe for White Chocolate and Blueberry Bread Pudding, but since I live in California, I can sometimes get away with summer recipes in the winter.

I was having a small group of friends over for a bitters cocktail party this past weekend, so I figured this would be the perfect dessert to serve with all those Old Fashioneds and Manhattans.  As soon as I pulled it out of the oven, they could barely wait to start digging in.  That's why the only photo I have is a half-eaten pan!  They absolutely loved this version of bread pudding because it wasn't overly sweet and didn't have a mushy texture.  The white chocolate and Frangelico sauce gives it a little extra decadence.  I made a few modifications to the recipe by adding more blueberries and leaving out the extra sprinkling of butter on top.

White Chocolate & Blueberry Bread Pudding - serves 10-12
Ingredients for the Bread Pudding:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 lb loaf of day-old French or Italian bread (not a baguette), cut into 1-inch cubes.  
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (in addition to the above)
Ingredients for the Sauce:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 oz Frangelico
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Butter or grease a 8x11.5x2 inch baking dish.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, pour in the heavy cream and heat it until almost boiling, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn.
- In a large heat-safe mixing bowl, add 1 cup white chocolate chips.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about a minute to melt.
- Whisk until the chocolate is completely dissolved into the cream.
- Add the milk, sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla extract and almond extract and whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Add the bread cubes to the mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.
- Let the bread sit in the mixture for 30-40 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir the bread mixture about 2 or 3 times while it's soaking.
- Stir in the blueberries and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips into the bread mixture.
- Pour the pudding into the buttered baking dish and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the top is golden and the pudding has set.
- Let the pudding sit for about 20 minutes while you make the sauce.
- In a double boiler, or medium-sized saucepot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil.
- In the top part of the double boiler, or a saucepan that fits over your saucepot, add the egg yolk, heavy cream, sugar and salt and whisk until smooth.
- When the water is boiling, put the pan or top part of your double boiler on top and whisk the cream mixture until the sugar dissolves.
- Do not let the mixture simmer or else the egg will curdle.
- Add the white chocolate to the sauce and stir until it's melted.
- Remove from heat and add the Frangelico.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour the sauce over the bread pudding.