White-Chocolate Challah Pudding

Adapted from The Figs Table
Makes 6 servings

-7 large egg yolks
-2 whole eggs
-2-inch segment of vanilla bean, seeds scraped
-3 cups heavy cream
-1 cup milk
-1/2 cup sugar
-10 ounces white chocolate, about 2 cups chopped
-4 cups challah cubes, about 1 loaf crusts removed, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the egg yolks and eggs in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until scalded, or when bubbles begin to form around the edges and it has not quite come to a boil, about 7 minutes. Add the white chocolate and mix until fully melted. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow steady stream, whisking all the while. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
Place the bread cubes in an 8 x 8-inch pan and cover with the egg-cream mixture. Press the cubes down and let rest for 15 minutes.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in a larger pan filled halfway with very hot water. Transfer to the oven and bake until firm and, when touched in the middle, the custard does not show up on your finger, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check to see if you need to replenish the water after 30 minutes. If so, add enough to keep the water level at the halfway point. Serve warm with fresh berries.

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