Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Challah Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce

This pudding has a sweet orange flavor and is very moist; top with the sauce and you get a nice kick of flavor. This recipe is great for dinner parties, pot lucks or whenever you fell like something sweet and satisfying. By placing the baking dish inside a larger dish full of water (a water bath) it creates a more gentle baking environment, that basically steams the pudding and keeps it from getting too dried out.

Note: If you do not have time to let your bread sit out over night, you can dry it in the oven. Simply heat the oven at 250 and place bread in oven for 30 minutes or until the bread is very dry, turn the bread over half way through the cooking time.

Prep time: inactive 24 hours, active 15 minutes
Baking time: 50-65 minutes
Makes: 6-8 servings

For the pudding:
8 thick slices of dried out or toasted Challah bread
5 eggs slightly beaten
3 cups half n half
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure orange extract

For the Sauce:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup Grand Marnier

Pre-heat oven to 350 f. In a large bowl mix together half n half, sugar and egg until well blended. Mix in vanilla and orange extract; set aside. Break bread into large bite-sized pieces and place in a 2 quart casserole dish or 10-12 cup glass bowl. Pour custard mixture over bread and place a plate or pan on top of mixture and let sit for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, place a 13x9 baking dish in the center of your oven. Fill about half way with hot water. When the bread is done soaking, remove the plate and gently the place the pudding inside the baking dish with the water (this is called a water bath). Bake in the dish for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty, and when you press down most of the liquid is gone. Remove the water bath and place the pudding dish back in the oven. Bake for another 7-10 minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the rest of the liquid is absorbed (it is ok if a little custard remains, you just don’t want it to be soupy). Remove from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
To make the sauce:
Wisk together the cream, sugar and egg in a small pan. Heat on low-med heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is hot, but not boiling and all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from stove top stir in Grand Marnier and set aside until ready to serve pudding. When serving, spoon bread pudding into dishes and pour desired amount of sauce over each serving. Enjoy!

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