Are You Ready For CHOCOLATE???
  Re: (...)
I don't know why this captured my taste buds so quickly, but oh how I want to taste this....probably all this darn healthy eating...

Chocolate Ganache Bread Pudding

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound challah, crust removed, bread cut into 3/4-inch dice (6 cups)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Port Caramel Sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Put 2 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Heat 1/4 cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan over moderately low heat. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate ganache is smooth. Let the chocolate ganache stand at room temperature until set.

2. Butter an 11-by-8-inch baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. In a large bowl, toss the melted butter with the diced challah. Spread the bread on a baking sheet in an even layer and toast for about 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Wipe out the bowl.

3. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the milk and 6 tablespoons of the sugar and bring just to a boil. Remove the heavy cream mixture from the heat. Add the remaining 3 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until the chocolate is melted.

4. In the bowl used for the bread, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar with the egg yolks, cocoa, vanilla and salt until a paste forms. Slowly whisk in the warm chocolate cream until smooth. Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Add the toasted bread and toss to coat with the warm chocolate cream. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until most of the chocolate cream is absorbed.

5. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Using a large spoon, dollop the chocolate ganache on top. Bake the bread pudding for about 35 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Let the chocolate bread pudding stand for 15 minutes, then serve with the Port Caramel Sauce on the side.

MAKE AHEAD The chocolate bread pudding can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm before serving.

Cooking Club Tip: A fast and easy way to make the port caramel sauce is to reduce the port in a saucepan until it has the consistency of syrup, then add store-bought caramel sauce and warm through.

WINE A vintage character port will have the sweetness to stand up to the caramel and the rich, plummy flavors here. Look for Graham's Six Grapes or Fonseca Bin 27.

Port Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ruby port
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a heavy, medium saucepan, cook the granulated sugar over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Continue to cook, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the light brown sugar and stir until smooth. Return the caramel to the heat and carefully add the port; the caramel will harden slightly. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the sauce to a pitcher and serve warm.

MAKE AHEAD The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 month; rewarm.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Are You Ready For CHOCOLATE??? by cjs (I don't know why thi...)
I'm READY!!!! Yeah, I agree---all this watching calorie, fat intake is driving me NUTS!!!! This is a great post, Jean---THANKS!!! Copied to MC and will be attempted---when I have a bit of "extra time"---
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Are You Ready For CHOCOLATE??? by cjs (I don't know why thi...)
WOW-WEE! Straight to the temporal lobes with a sweet rush! Good thing our kitchen is unpacked and this morning found the boxes with all the alcohol! Just gotta make this tonight! Can't wait to sink into this one!
Vive Bene! Spesso L'Amore! Di Risata Molto!

Buon Appetito!

  Re: Re: Are You Ready For CHOCOLATE??? by MUSICMAKER (WOW-WEE! Straight to...)
Well for goodness sake Jean! I put on 5 pounds just reading my age who cares though? Uh, my doctor?
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.


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