Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Piggy in a Pudding: Bourbon and Bacon Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding with Chocolate Ganache

Bread Pudding with Ice Cream
As the days are getting colder and shorter (sniffle), my thoughts have turned to comfort foods. I've been making favorite fall soups and testing out new recipes for the upcoming holidays and I think I have a real keeper. So good that we've entered it into the Bon Appétit Blog Envy Bake-Off! If you love bacon, chocolate and booze, you'll love this chocolate ganache drizzled, bourbon soaked, bacon and chocolate chunk studded bread pudding, too...

Start with the good stuff...delicious challah, uncured center cut bacon, high quality dark chocolate and bourbon and you're well on your way to dessert deliciousness. Here's the recipe...

Bourbon and Bacon Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding
12 strips uncured center cut bacon
2 tablespoons bacon grease (reserved from the bacon)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup 1% milk
3 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup granualated sugar
4 eggs
4 oz high quality semi sweet chocolate chunks
1 loaf challah bread (approximately 12 oz), ripped into approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces

Chocolate Ganache
4 oz of heavy whipping cream
4 oz of bittersweet chocolate (over 70% or greater)

1.) Fry six strips of bacon over low heat until they are softened and slightly crispy. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate with paper towels to absorb excess grease. Once bacon is cool, cut into small dice and set aside. Pour off grease from pan into a measuring cup and reserve two tablespoons.

2.) Melt the two tablespoons of butter in the two tablespoons of bacon grease. In a large bowl, whisk together the bacon grease and butter with vanilla and cinnamon, set aside.

3.) In a medium saucepan over low heat combine whipping cream and milk with bourbon. Whisk in granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the light brown sugar then add in bacon grease mixture whisking continually. Once the ingredients are well combined, set aside to cool.

4.) In a large bowl whisk together eggs. While whisking continually, slowly add in 1 tablespoon of the cream mixture at a time to temper the eggs until the eggs and cream mixture are completely incorporated.

5.) Butter a 9 x 13 inch dish with 1/2 a tablespoon of butter. In a large bowl, toss the torn challah pieces with diced bacon and chocolate chunks. Transfer to the baking dish ensuring that the bacon and chocolate are mixed throughout then pour cream mixture over the bread mixture. With a spatula press the bread down to ensure that all the pieces absorb the liquid. Transfer the bread pudding to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Periodically press the mixture with a spatula so the top layer soaks in more of the liquid.

6.) While bread pudding is soaking fry the remaining six strips of bacon and sprinkle with one tablespoon of light brown sugar. When bacon begins to crisp flip it to the other side and sprinkle the other tablespoon of light brown sugar over the bacon. Once bacon is cooked and crispy on both sides transfer to a plate to cool. When cooled, dice bacon in small pieces.,

7.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Tightly cover pudding with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the cover and check for doneness using a cake tester. Then bake uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

8.) While the bread pudding is cooling prepare the chocolate ganache. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and put in a medium bowl. Warm the cream until it's bubbling slightly then pour over the chopped chocolate whisking briskly until well combined.

9.) Drizzle bread pudding with chocolate ganache and sprinkle with candied bacon bits.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and additional chocolate ganache drizzled on top.

Bread Pudding Ready to Eat
I'm generally my own toughest critic, but this is absolutely delicious. It would make a great dessert or holiday brunch dish. Lawman and Lawman-in-law unanimously voted it onto the Christmas menu.

Speaking of voting...you can show your support for chocolate, bacon, booze and the lovely ladies of Blondie & Brownie by voting for this recipe in the Bon Appétit Blog Envy Bake-Off. Here's the deal,click here and cast your vote for the tastiest dessert in a number of categories. The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen will bake the top scoring dessert in each category and select an overall winner. The winner will receive a trip for two to New York City and dinner with Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild and Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton. The finalists are chosen by audience votes, we need your help and votes for a chance to win. Our recipe should be up on the site sometime today. Please vote B&B!


1 comment:

Amy said...

this.looks.too.amazing for words. wow!!!