I’m not much a white chocolate fan, nor do I really care for bread pudding, but this dessert from the book The Figs Table sounded special. And surprise! The end result was as fabulous as I’d hoped.
I’m going to list issues/notes below so you can refer back to them easily when you make this.
1) The main issue was there was a little two much liquid for my standard 8 inch square metal pan. By carefully pressing down the bread and pouring the cream mixture on slowly, I was able to get all but about ¾ cup in. I don’t recommend scaling this recipe at all because in this case, you really do need a lot of the cream mixture to get the proper result and it’s better to have too much than not enough. Just pour the mixture carefully and let the bread kind of soak it up. It should come up almost to the top of the pan, at which point you’ll be putting the foil on it. Also, you might be tempted to use an 8 inch glad pyrex dish. It might be better to stick with metal for now since the glass and metal conduct heat differently. You could use a glass dish, but you’d have to adjust the times.
2) If you have a high quality vanilla around, this is a good recipe for it!
3) I used Baker’s White Chocolate Squares. If you feel like spending more, you can try it with something more expensive. For my first try, the Baker’s worked beautifully and unless there was a fire sale on white chocolate, I’d stick with Baker’s. I’m just not so sure using anything more expensive would be worth it since you are just melting it all into a dessert. I don’t think I’d use white chips, though.
4) I served the challah bread pudding with raspberry sauce and a few whole raspberries and my husband said the raspberries “made the dish”. While a caramel sauce would be good too, the raspberries cut the richness a bit.
5) Since this dish is pretty rich, you might consider cutting pieces a bit smaller. I actually got about 12 servings rather than 6. Then again, who am I to tell you how big your dessert should be!
Here’s a link to the recipe on Global Gourmet. For convenience, I’ve pasted it below as well. The raspberry sauce recipe is one I put together myself.
White-Chocolate Challah Pudding 6-12 servings
7 large egg yolks
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used Penzey’s double strength)
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
10 ounces white chocolate, about 2 cups chopped
4 cups challah cubes, about 1 loaf crusts removed, if desired
Raspberry Sauce (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the egg yolks, eggs, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the cream, milk, and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until scalded, or when bubbles begin to form around the edges and it has not quite come to a boil, about 7 minutes. Add the white chocolate and mix until fully melted. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow steady stream, whisking all the while.
Place the bread cubes in an 8 x 8-inch pan and cover with the egg-cream mixture. Press the cubes down and let rest for 15 minutes.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in a larger pan filled halfway with very hot water. Transfer to the oven and bake until firm and, when touched in the middle, the custard does not show up on your finger, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check to see if you need to replenish the water after 30 minutes. If so, add enough to keep the water level at the halfway point. Serve warm with fresh berries, Raspberry Sauce, or Caramel Sauce.
Raspberry Sauce & Topping
1 (10 oz) bag frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Optional: 2 tablespoon raspberry liqueur
Place raspberries in a saucepan and cook on low until they are thawed. Skip this step if you are using fresh raspberries. Add sugar to saucepan and turn heat to medium. In a separate bowl, stir together water and cornstarch. Pour over raspberries and stir mixture until it beings to boil, thicken and clear. Remove from heat. Place a sieve over a bowl and pour berry sauce through sieve, pressing so that the sauce goes into the bowl and the seeds stay behind. Stir lemon juice intro strained raspberry sauce. If you have some raspberry liqueur, add it – this is a great addition, but not necessary.
If you have a squeeze/squirt bottle or one of those red ketchup squirt bottles, you can pour your sauce into it and decorate the plate!