Monday, October 3, 2011

Toasted Panettone Pudding with Hershey Chocolate Chips

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. 
Sliced Panettone
 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
The Panettone toasted well in the oven during which the sweet aroma of chocolate filled the air.  (Realtors, you may want to think about toasting some Panettone before your next open house – this was a seriously sinful scent!)  And if this were not enough to get your taste buds salivating, wait until you smell the medley of chocolate-orange blossom-vanilla scents that emerge as the final composition is baked to completion. 

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
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a heavy 3-quart saucepan and toss in the pod as well.  Add the half-and-half and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.   Remove from heat.
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!


  1. Yep. I'll take a slice of this right now thanks :) Mmm.

  2. What a recipe. Looks so delicious!! Care to share :)

  3. Wow - looks way delicious! (Mmmmm .... chocolate ....)

  4. How fun! The creme anglaise is a great topping for any bread pudding.
    And how on earth did Thanksgiving happen to be less than two months away? Stop the clock!
    Thanks for your comments on the FFwD site - I know that I can work with blogger comments on one of my computers but not the other... It's a pain.

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