Daily Archives: December 28, 2006

The Winner Recipe

I promised I’d post the recipe for the steamed chocolate bread pudding that I used to unceremoniously boot the plum pudding off its proverbial throne. I got the original recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, but I modified it a bit, as I am wont to do, so I’m giving you the recipe as *I* made it…

1 loaf chocolate bread (yeast bread made with flour, cocoa powder, sugar, yeast, milk, eggs and vanilla – oh, and mini chocolate chips, if you’re so inclined), cut into cubes

9 oz. good quality dark chocolate – I used a combination of Lindt 85% and Trader Joe’s 72%

1 1/2 c each milk and heavy cream

1 c half and half

1 c sugar

12 egg yolks – I’ll tell you later why this is funny…

1 t vanilla extract

pinch salt

Coarsely chop chocolate and put in a bowl set over simmering water to melt. Meanwhile, combine all the dairy in a saucepan and heat to almost boiling. While the dairy is heating, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until well blended. Slowly drizzle the hot diary into the yolks, whisking constantly, then strain the mixture into a large bowl and skim off any foam. Slowly add the melted chocolate, whisking all the while. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

Arrange the cubed bread in a large, heatproof bowl (I used a 10 cup Pyrex, and it just fit) and pour the custard mixture over. Set the bowl on a plate or in a pan to catch drips, then put a plate on top of the mixture and set a heavy can on top of the plate and allow the bread to soak in the custard. I let the thing set for about 20 minutes, then went back and poured in the custard that wouldn’t fit in the first go-round, but if you can get it all in at once, that’s fine, too. Right about now, set your oven to 425•.

Cover the bowl with tin foil that’s been poked a bit to allow for steam to escape, and set the bowl in a deep pan and pour in enough boiling water to come up about 2/3 of the way up the side of the bowl (I used a dutch oven – none of my roasting pans was deep enough). Set that in the oven and bake until the custard is either absorbed or solidified into a lovely, custardy splodge – it took mine about an hour and ten minutes.

Cool completely before turning out onto a dish. I made mine a day ahead and stashed it in the fridge overnight, so I had to dip the bowl in hot water to release the pudding, but it was just wonderful cold and sprinkled with a little bit of 1ox sugar.

I’m not sure anyone really missed the plum pudding…..

(oh, and why is 12 egg yolks funny? WeedWoman just discovered, last week, that one of the causes of her intestinal woes is that she’s allergic to eggs. She came by on Christmas day and eyed the desserts, then decided to try a teensy-tiny bit of the chocolate pudding. It didn’t occurr to either of us that this would be a problem, until I exclaimed that I did in an ENTIRE DOZEN eggs for the thing. Both our eyes got big, and she promply spit her nibble out, but not before she got an idea of just how glorious it really was…)


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