Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, and enjoyed it with their friends and family. But the holidays are still on in full swing, and so is the cooking and baking spree. After taking a 3-day well-deserved skiing break, I got back to my oven to make this Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Bread pudding. Lots of desserts and delicacies fall under the "Pudding" umbrella, like gellos, panna cotta, mousse, gooey cakes and more. But the most widely-known form of pudding is the bread pudding. As the name suggests, you make layers of milk or cream-soaked bread and top it with fruits, nuts, chocolate or anything that your heart desires:) freeze it for some hours, then toss it in the oven to make it warm and gooey, and relish it with your favorite toppings. An exquisite dessert that can range from simple to elaborate and classic. There are tonnes of ways to experiment with this, but here's my version full of berries, raisins, chocolate and bread!

I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate, and don't generally use it in my cooking, with white chocolate mocha and white chocolate-macadamia nut cookies being exceptions. Somehow, it feels just right in this pudding recipe. It does help bring out the color and flavor of the mixed berries. But if you want, you can use regular chocolate too.

Ingredients
1 cup mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sugar (or less, if using sweet condensed milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded white chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
8-9 large slices of thick white bread (not too soft, toast for 1 minute if too soft)
1 cup condensed milk

Method
Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the sprayed pan with plastic wrap, pressing it against the edges and allow some of the wrap to overhang on all sides.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the mixed berries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, The salt and lemon will urge them to give up some of their juice, and that's when you know the berries are cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the raisins and continue cooking until all the berries are soft and have well-cooked, forming a sauce. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Remove the edges of the bread slices. Cut each slice into 4 pieces. Arrange one layer of bread slices, pour 1/2 of the berry sauce over them; add the white chocolate, then repeat with another layer of same ingredients.

Gently pour the milk evenly over the layers so it trickles down. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours.

Remove the pudding and carefully peel off the plastic. Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and bake the pudding for about 15-20 mins, just until the pudding is warm in the center and a bit of golden on the top. Remove and cut into huge chunks and serve the Bread Pudding immediately!

Tip: The pudding may be made 2 days in advance and kept refrigerated. This can be served with chocolate sauce, or ice cream or even whipped cream. Just remember that the pudding tastes best when it's warm and gooey.

Similar Recipes:
Banana Bread and Cream Cheese Pudding
Baked Strawberry Dessert Pudding
Vanilla Panna-Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries

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