Old Fashioned Chocolate Bread Pudding With Kahlua Caramel Sauce
- Ready In:
Chocolate Bread Pudding
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- granulated sugar (for dusting the pan)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 ounces fine quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua
- 7 egg yolks
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 7 7 cups challah or 7 cups white bread, with crusts removed cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- vanilla ice cream
Kahlua Caramel Sauce
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 1 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Begin by buttering 12 small ramekins and dusting with granulated sugar.
- Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy (DO NOT BOIL).
- Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, walnuts and Kahlùa. Stir to mix.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the 1/2 cup sugar. Pour into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the bread cubes.
- Transfer the pudding mixture to the ramekins (DO NOT OVER FILL - Fill just to the top) and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake until nicely browned and set, about 30 minutes.
Kahlùa Caramel Sauce:
- Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar in a small saucepan. DO NOT STIR. Bring the mixture to a boil; cook until the caramel browns. When the caramel is medium brown, remove from heat and add cream. Let simmer. Add Kahlua.
- To serve: Ladle some sauce onto each plate, unmold the ramekin, place the pudding on top of the sauce. Serve warm, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Cook's Tip: Other serving versions include serving the pudding warm and topped with a dab of whipped cream OR cold, topped with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate chips.
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<img src="http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j166/ZaarNicksMom/PACsticker-Adopted.jpg"> <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/IWasAdoptedfall08.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> It was at my Italian grandmother's apron strings, in the "Patterson, New Jersey region" of Italy, that I learned the secrets of creating real home style Italian dishes, and where my passion for food and my culture were nurtured. Always kept neat as a pin, grandma's kitchen was the centerpiece of our social settings and the focal point of our lives together as a family. Yes, it was the heart of her home. There, friends and family exchanged news, grandchildren stood on stools over the counter and grated chunks of Romano and Parmesan cheese to be served with dinner, and under the watchful eye of grandma the women (young and old) planned and prepared mouthwatering menus that reflected the marvelous flavors and textures of Italian cooking. On any given day tantalizing aromas would build and escape through her kitchen window, dance about the balcony and drift down onto the street; where men chatting on the corner of Putnum Street would stop in their tracks to inhale the mouth-watering fragrance. So many sumptuous meals were prepared in that modest, yet functional, kitchen. If I close my eyes and think of Grandma's cooking, I can vividly recall some of those fragrant food memories: tomato sauce with meatballs and sausages simmering on the stove top; onions, peppers and garlic roasting in a fragrant pool of olive oil, Neapolitan pizza with vine-ripened tomatoes (from grandpa's garden), fresh garlic, basil, Parmesan and anchovies bubbling in the oven; Italian bread smothered with creamy butter, minced garlic, and fresh parsley toasting under the broiler ... "Yummmmm - Heaven in your mouth!" Among the many recipes that I've collected over the years, are those that I hold especially near and dear. They are tattered, faded pieces of paper that provide a glimpse into my past -- Family recipes passed down from mother to daughter, granddaughter to great-granddaughter. Generations of my family's heritage are captured in grandma's recipes for flavorful soups (Minestrone, Pea, Ruccola); hearty meat, poultry and fish dishes (braciole, pot roast, chicken casseroles, seafood stews); fresh vegetable entrees and salads, and those baked goodies that bring a happy ending to every meal (Ricotta pies, Struffoli, Cenci, Pine Nut cookies). Whenever I am 'hungry' for "the good old days" or I want to soothe my soul after a tiring day, these are the comfort-recipes to which I turn. I once heard it said: "What distinguishes great cooks from good cooks is that great cooks love to cook. Every meal is an opportunity to express that love." A credo that I am certain grandma lived by -- I believe that she prepared her meals to fill her family and friends with love. I am proud of grandma's spirit of "abbondanza" (an abundant table). Indeed, no one ever left grandma's table hungry. I'd like to share with you some of the foods from my beloved grandmother's kitchen. Enjoy and make these Italian classic favorites in your own family's kitchen. Buon appetito!