Monday, August 27, 2012

King's Hawaiian Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

I've never had bread pudding before. It is one of those so-called comfort foods that never used to appeal to me. I hated mushy bread whenever I ate a sandwich, so why would I eat mushy bread as a dessert? The mere thought of that mushy texture in mouth used to make me cringe. Then I saw a show on the Food Network that was featuring food trucks. This was a time before the food truck craze went rampant. They featured a bread pudding truck that served chocolate bread pudding. And it actually looked really good. But I didn't want to try making it myself for fear that I would only cringe at eating mushy bread and it wouldn't be worth the effort to make.

I recently came across the King's Hawaiian website. I skimmed through the recipes and found their recipe for Chocolate Bread Pudding and it was calling out to me. I figured that maybe I never liked bread pudding because it wasn't prepared right. So I thought maybe I should finally face my fear of this dessert. It was quite simple to make. The bread pudding truck that I saw on the Food Network served their bread pudding with some sort of vanilla sauce. So I paired this with this vanilla sauce from My Recipes and it came out really well. It didn't even seem like mushy bread, but more of a custardy dessert that I really enjoyed. Hubby enjoyed this dessert a little too much because he had 2 servings in one sitting. Word of caution, however: this dessert uses a lot of heavy cream, so it isn't diet friendly. Therefore eat with caution. But enjoy this classic dessert warm.

2 1/2 cups Half & Half
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
6 cups lightly packed cubed King's Hawaiian bread (rolls, loaf or whatever you have)

1) Heat half & half in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble at the edges. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Mix until completely melted and incorporated. Cool slightly.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in 1 cup of the chocolate mixture until well incorporated. Whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture. Pour custard mixture over cubed bread and slowly stir until bread is well coated. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3) Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Lightly apply a non-stick spray on a 8x8 baking dish, or six 6-oz custard cups.

4) Place cups or baking dish on a baking sheet. Spoon soaked bread. Bake for 45-50 minutes for the baking dish, or 35-40 minute for the baking cups, until knife inserted in center comes out nearly clean.
Serve warm with chocolate or vanilla sauce.

Vanilla sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1) In a saucepan, whisk together sugars, flour, nutmeg, egg and cream until well incorporated. Add butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 10-12 minutes.

2) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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