Last week I shared my Valentine's Day dinner with you. Today I'm sharing the sweetest part of the meal: the dessert. If you've ever been to Nordstrom Cafe and had their White Chocolate Bread Pudding, you know what this dessert is all about. I'll warn you from the beginning that it does require a lot of work, however, it is worth all the effort. This scrumptious dessert is the perfect combination of white chocolate and raspberries. I made this for just the two of us and ended up with a ton leftover (not that I'm complaining). Next time I'll have to serve it for a gathering so that everyone can share in on the deliciousness.
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
3 ½ cups white chocolate chips
6 large eggs
12 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 loaf day old French baguette, 24-inch cut into ½-inch inch slices
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 cups fresh or unsweetened frozen raspberries
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup white chocolate morsels
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 (4-ounce) chunk white chocolate, to be cut into ribbons
DirectionsPreheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk and sugar and heat just until hot. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate morsels and stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, yolks and vanilla. Whisking constantly, gradually drizzle the warm cream mixture into the eggs, continuing to whisk until smooth and well blended. (If the cream mixture is too hot, the eggs will curdle. That's why it's so important to add cream very slowly and whisk constantly.)
Lay half of the bread slices in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour half of the cream mixture over the bread and allow to absorb the liquid, about 5 minutes. Layer the remaining bread slices on top and pour the rest of the cream mixture over them. Press down on the bread, making certain it completely absorbs the liquid. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Bake the pudding for 1 hour. Uncover and continue to bake until the liquid in the center has evaporated and the pudding is golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
When the bread pudding is cool, cover and refrigerate until cold. Run a sharp knife between the edges of the bread pudding and the sides of the pan to loosen the pudding, then invert the pan onto a cutting board and tap the bottom to release the pudding. Peel off the parchment paper. Trim off the crusty edges around the sides. Cut the bread pudding into six 2- by 3-inch rectangles, and then cut each rectangle in half on an angle to form 2 triangles. Wrap and store in the refrigerator.
To make the raspberry sauce, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, sugar and orange zest and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the raspberries, reduce the heat to low and cook until the fruit begins to fall apart, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Then remove seeds by using the back of a spoon to press the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl to catch the berry sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.
To make the white chocolate sauce, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the cream until hot. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate morsels and stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Keep warm.
To finish and assemble the dessert, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a rimmed baking sheet and place the bread pudding triangles on it, leaving space between the pieces. Brush the triangles with the melted butter. Bake the triangles until heated through and lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
For each serving, stand a hot bread pudding triangle on its side in the center of a large dessert plate. Run a stripe of white chocolate sauce across the plate, including over the top of the pudding. Pool some of the raspberry sauce at opposite edges of the plate. Garnish with raspberries and with ribbons of white chocolate cut with a vegetable peeler.