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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chocolate Bread Pudding

So, I had a little leftover bread from a dinner a while back, and I purposely let it get stale, really, really stale, to make chocolate bread pudding. I couldn't find one recipe that sounded just right, so I improvised based on a couple of different ones, including the Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding of last month. The only thing bad about how it turned out is that it is now all gone.
Chocolate Bread Pudding

3 C stale bread, cut or broken into pieces no larger than an inch or so
4 egg yolks (I used four because I needed four more whites for another recipe, but 3 would probably work fine)
2/3 C sugar
pinch salt
1 C heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 C whole milk

Put bread in souffle dish (mine is a pretty standard size, I think about 8" across). Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy-ish, at least a minute. In the mean time, put chocolate and enough cream to just cover (2/3-3/4 C, depending on shape of bowl) in glass bowl and microwave on high for one minute. Stir until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, then stir in the rest of the cream. With mixer running, add milk to egg yolk-sugar mixture and mix until combined. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add chocolate-cream mixture and mix until well blended, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Pour custard mixture over bread in souffle dish. Press bread down into custard and let soak as long as you can, up to overnight (in the fridge if longer than an hour).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Trim a piece of parchment paper to fit in mouth of souffle dish, and lay it right on top of pudding. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake 40-45 minutes covered, then remove foil and parchment and bake another 40-45 minutes uncovered. Let stand 20 minutes before serving to finish cooking.

As you can see from the picture, I didn't break my bread into small enough pieces. I just whacked its bag on the counter, but I should have taken a mallet to it. I also didn't take enough time for soaking, so there was some unchocolatey bread at the middle of the larger pieces. Not fatal flaws, in any event, but something I will do differently next time.

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Baby De Luxe

Cindy Lou is turning into a toddler instead of a baby (though of course she's at least a preschooler in her own mind). She now walks, still a bit unsteadily but with enthusiasm, and she is quite verbal. She's my first kid who has been willing or able to parrot things back (like I remember doing with my younger siblings), and it's great fun. She's mostly sticking to single-syllable words still, but the increasing ease of communication with her is GREAT.

Here are a bunch of recent shots in a couple of my favorite outfits for her (and one shot with her siblings).


Dear Readers

You may have noticed that all the pictures disappeared from my blogs a couple of weeks ago. I've been trying to figure out a way to fix it, to no avail. Google (who could fix everything with a couple of keystrokes, I'm certain) does not have anything remotely resembling actual customer service. A few forays into the help discussion groups hasn't gotten me anywhere other than reposting all my pictures (doable, but a major and time-consuming pain). So, I'll post new material (I remain relatively confident that newly-posted pictures will not disappear), and re-load old stuff as time permits.

Anyone know an easy way to restore the Blogger NavBar? I deleted it originally to make things cleaner, but now I think it would be nice to have a way for my faithful readers to search more easily.