Thursday, April 25, 2013

Branching Out and Bread Pudding

Lately I've been trying to be open to new experiences.  I am a person that really enjoys routine and stability, but every once in a while, I really like to mix it up and try new things.  Last weekend, my boyfriend asked if I would go with him to his coworker's birthday party in Dorchester.  Hmm.. I thought.  Me, going out to parties, with strange people, and in Dorchester... 3 new experiences in one!  Since Jay always talks to his coworker, Anisha, about my baking, I knew I couldn't go empty-handed to her birthday party.

When I asked Jay what Anisha would like, he told me that she really likes bread pudding.  I know the basic concepts of how to make a bread pudding, but I'm not sure if I've ever really made one.  I decided to accept the challenge and make it new experience #4 for the weekend.  This is what I came up with:

Dark Chocolate Caramel Toffee Bread Pudding
Recipe totally made up in my head
Yield: 1 large pan/bowl of deliciousness
1 large day-old baguette, torn or cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6oz dark chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
3-4 cups milk (I used soy)
1/4 cup caramel sauce, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup crushed toffee bits, plus extra for decorating

  1. Place torn bread in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large double boiler, melt together butter and chocolate chips. 
  3. Remove from heat and slowly stir in milk, caramel, and vanilla.  Return to medium heat and allow mixture to come to a light boil (approx 3-5 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and slowly and carefully stir in the eggs.
  5. Pour mixture over bread and sprinkle in toffee bits.
  6. Stir together all ingredients gently.
  7. Allow mixture to sit for one hour for the bread to absorb the milk mixture.
  8. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  9. Stir the mixture one last time, and then pour into a well-greased baking dish.
  10. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the bread pudding begins to brown and looks set.  It should still be mushy and slightly jiggly, but not wet looking.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences of last weekend, especially after the surreal tragedies of the previous week.  We met so many new people, tried so many new delicious foods, and branched out of our comfort zone.  Consider doing the same, and if you bring this bread pudding with you, you are sure to make a lot of new best friends!

Love and cookies,

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