Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A brief hiatus...then chocolate.

Apologies for the dearth of posts lately!  Much has happened since we last met, including this, which is pretty much mind-blowing. Another notable thing that came to pass was the nuptial extravaganza of one of my best friends, a fabulous 3-day event in Brooklyn which is mostly to blame for my inability to post anything new for the past week or so.  The overflow of happiness from that event rendered me unable to do anything that could be described as productive.  That and daylight savings time.  And the thickening of my blood due to impending wintertimes...excuses excuses.

Anyway, another thing there has been a curious lack of on Effing Delicious, besides recent posts, is chocolate.  On a quick browse of past posts I could really only find one involving chocolate.  But those were just chocolate chips, and were greatly out-shined by the star of that recipe - caramelized cornflakes. I admittedly am one of those people who would choose vanilla or caramel in a second over chocolate, and I honestly rarely bake with it - but I still love it. 

This weekend I had my family over for Sunday Dinner (it's what they used to have before the brunch craze, kids!) and decided to make a chocolaty dessert for the finale.  It seemed appropriate on the drizzly cold day nature served up - we combated that inclement gesture with great wine, an autumnal roast, a fire in the fireplace, a cutthroat game of dominoes, and a gorgeous chocolate bread pudding.

Bread pudding is the easiest dessert to make ever...almost shamefully easy.  It seems like you slaved, but really you just whisked some stuff together, poured it over torn up bread and baked it.  This one starts off with lightly toasted cinnamon raisin bread, which pairs with the chocolate to make a rich pudding with layers of flavor.  Any kind of milk will work, so you can make it even richer depending on what octane you use.

So finally some chocolate, peoples.  I hope it makes up for the fact that there's no "New York City Food Tour Part 2", which was supposed to be last week's post.  Sorry, but I was having way too much fun.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
from M-Stew's Everyday Food, with my notes as always

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
8 slices (8 ounces) cinnamon-raisin bread
2 cups of milk (any fat-percentage will do - I made mine with skim and it was still decadent)
3 ounces of good quality semisweet chocolate
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Lightly butter an 11x7 inch baking dish.  Set aside.  Toast bread (in the oven or toaster) until lightly crisped.

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, chocolate and butter; place over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes (may take a little longer, watch it, and make sure the chocolate is completely melted and combined).

Tear bread into large pieces (about 4 or 5 per slice).  Scatter evenly in prepared baking dish.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla.  Whisk in warm milk mixture until combined.  Pour over bread.

Bake until pudding has puffed and is firm, about 25 minutes.  Cool at least 10 minutes and dust with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

The pudding can also be chilled over night, but I think it's best at room temperature and recommend you take it out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to serve it.

Also!  Sorry there is no picture of said bread pudding.  All of mine were terrible!  If you talk to Santa tell him I need a new camera.

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