“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus
Oh’ delicious autumn. Crisp fresh air that wraps you up into a cable knit sweater. Crispy crunchy leaves painting a breathtaking mosaic landscape. The harvest of fall fruits and vegetables that create the most delicious comfort food.
* Special tools and process: Bread pudding requires a water bath to bake. For this recipe I use a 9 X 13 glass baking dish. The glass pan creates even consistent baking throughout for the pudding. This dish was placed into a 16 X 18 roasting pan for the water bath. I also made several bread puddings using ramekins that I placed within a round roasting pan and water bath. Work with what you have and what is easiest for you.
Here’s what you’ll need:
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brandy
1 large ciabatta loaf, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup cranberries soaked in 1/4 cup of brandy for two hours (or you can use orange juice).
1 – 10oz package of Lindt White Chocolate Truffles chopped into small pieces
Preparing the bread pudding:
Place the cranberries and brandy in a bowl or jar, cover and put in refrigerator to soak for 1 hour.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Whisk in milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt. Add bread and let soak 45 minutes in refrigerator up to 1 hour. Add the brandied cranberries and allow to soak for another hour or overnight; stirring and mixing the bread down occasionally until most of liquid has been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Remove bread mixture from refrigerator. Butter your baking dish (and ramekins if you are using them), save leftover butter for bread pudding. Pour bread pudding into baking dish, distribute evenly and spoon remaining butter on top spreading throughout. Make sure the bread pudding is packed in tightly. Place the lindt milk chocolate every few inches apart within the bread mixture. I made sure there was chocolate in every bite. Cover with parchment paper to prevent burning.
Baking the bread pudding:
Boil enough water to fill your roasting pan about 1 to 2 inches. Place baking dish with bread pudding in the roasting pan and pour the hot water into the pan, about halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake. Let stand 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges and cut into preferred slices. I made 3 rows lengthwise and 5 rows widthwise.
This dish can be served immediately with a whipped topping or ice cream. I know I’m being a little decadent here. This dish is also great the next day and perfect to prepare a day ahead or bring to a party. I made this for my sweet father in law who is an amazing cook himself. He makes the best swedish pancakes – I’ll be sure to share his recipe here soon. For now… it’s beautiful Fall, filled with wonderful comfort food, like this yummy bread pudding. Perfect to keep you warm as the days get cooler and shorter. I hope you like it as much as we did. Happy Fall!
*You can add any flavors you like to this recipe — milk chocolate with caramel or make a savory bread pudding adding sun-dried tomatoes and Gruyère cheese, just replace the sugar with herbs and replace brandy with vodka or wine. The options are endless, play with flavors and you’ll have a beautiful dish however you decide serve it.