|Toasted Panettone Pudding with Hershey's Chocolate Chips|
It is never too early to plan holiday menus and, with Thanksgiving less than two months away, it is an essential task for any Culinary Diva worth her salt. Each holiday season I make a toasted bread pudding that I serve with a crème anglaise sauce. It is a simple but classic dessert that gets rave reviews and numerous requests to be served at holiday gatherings.
But being a Culinary Diva means eschewing the status quo in favor of experimentation. So this year I’m trying something different. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received two Bauducco Panettones to try: Bauducco Panettone with Hershey Chocolate Chips and Bauducco Panettone with Sun-Maid Golden Raisins.
|The Panettone from Bauducco as part of Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program|
The Panettone with Hershey’s Chocolate Chips seemed to demand it be made into a toasted bread pudding. I don’t eat chocolate as it gives me a migraine, but I surely do know a good chocolate option when I see it. I also wanted to make a little something special for some good friends and thought this would be the perfect dessert for them. I will use the Panettone with Sun-Maid Raisins in a Panzanella.
What I like about my toasted bread pudding is its contrasting textures. The bread is first buttered and toasted in the oven (it is actually baked, but the recipe says “toasted” so who am I to disagree?), which creates a gorgeous color and crispy texture. Then the bread is combined with a custard mixture and baked in the oven. This results in every bite having the crunch of toasty crust contrasted with the tasty, buttery soft texture of the pudding. While I usually use challah bread, I thought the Panettone with Hershey’s Chocolate Chips might work just as well and add some wonderful flavor dimensions to boot.
|Buttered Panettone waiting to be toasted|
|Perfectly toasted Panettone|
|Cubed Panettone waiting for the custard|
|Custard with a special addition of orange zest|
|After sitting 15 minutes, the Panettone Pudding is ready for bakin.|
|Don't forget the water-bath|
|Voila - Beautiful! Can't wait to try it!|
The toasted bread pudding really benefits from a vanilla crème anglaise. This sauce is one of life’s great luxuries and is best done from scratch and not by melting vanilla ice cream, as I know some people do. The process is relatively simple and the ingredients minimal. If you haven’t tried to make it, don’t be intimidated and give it a try.
|This tastes as good as it looks - ooey & gooey creme anglaise, moist panettone pudding....Yum!|
|Panettone Pudding - perfect for holidays or everyday!|
The finished toasted bread pudding is colorful, rich and indulgent with just the right amount of comfort thrown in the mix. The chocolate was not overwhelming (I tasted a bite just to make sure) and the addition of orange zest gave it a real holiday feel and brightened the palate a bit. While perfect for the holidays, it is a dessert that can be served throughout the year. Here is the recipe.
Toasted Panettone Pudding with Hershey Chocolate Chips:
1 Bauducco Panettone with Chocolate Chips (you can substitute the raisin Panettone)
3 ½ tablespoons unsalted and softened butter
3 cups half-and-half
4 large eggs
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish.
Slice the Panettone into ½ inch slices and butter on each side. Place on two baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until lightly toasted--about 15-20 minutes. Place on rack to cool, but leave the oven on.
Whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and orange zest until the sugar is fully dissolved. After the toasted Panettone has cooled, slice into 1 ½ inch squares and place in the prepared baking dish. Pour the custard mixture over Panettone and let set for 15 minutes.
Place this baking dish into a larger baking dish and then fill the larger baking dish halfway with hot water. Place them in the oven and bake until the custard has set-- approximately 50 to 60 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla crème anglaise sauce.
Vanilla Crème Anglaise:
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 cups half-and-half
2 large eggs
½ cup sugar
|Vanilla pod seeded and ready for half and half|
|Half and half added to vanilla seeds/pod|
|Bring just to a boil|
|After eggs have been tempered add to remaining half and half mixture (sorry no photo on tempering, unable to do that one handed)|
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a separate bowl until combined. In a slow stream, add one-half of the heated half-and-half mixture into the egg/sugar mixture to temper. Whisk constantly while doing this to avoid creating scrambled eggs. Add the tempered egg/sugar mixture to the saucepan and return to medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
|See how it coats back of spoon|
|Ice bath, and metal bowl prepped and ready|
Prepare a cold water bath. Set a metal bowl in the cold water bath and strain the custard mixture into metal bowl, leaving the solids behind to be discarded. After this mixture has been strained, stir it in the metal bowl until it cools, then refrigerate in a closed container until ready for use.
|Completed Creme Anglaise, smooth, creamy and scrumptious!|