Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I finally decided it was time to take advantage of all the fall flavors that are hitting the market right now.  I had pretty much narrowed down the choice between butternut squash or pumpkin.  However, once I landed on this particular recipe-the decision was made.

This dessert starts with pumpkin chocolate chip bread.  Once I made the bread, I had some serious thoughts about not moving forward with the bread pudding.  Luckily I have ample pumpkin left to make another loaf of bread.

The bread pudding really does have a deep spicy taste which goes quite well with the pumpkin and chocolate.   This is the first time I have used cayenne in a baked good but that little bit of heat in there turned out to be a bonus in this dessert.  This definitely delivered when it came to fall flavor and I can't wait to share this with some of my friends.

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding
adapted from Baked Elements

Ingredients/Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2  tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
6 oz dark chocolate (60-72% cacao)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs flour
1 tbs melted butter

Ingredients/Pumpkin Custard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups half and half (room temp)
4.5 oz of unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1tbs), melted and cooled
2 large eggs & 4 egg yolks
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

For the chocolate chunk pumpkin bread, preheat the oven  to 350 degrees.  Using a pastry brush or paper towel, dip into melted butter and coat the inside of a a 9X5X3 inch loaf pan.  Then dust the inside with flour.

Sift together, into a large bowl, the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree and the oil until completely blended.  Then stir in the sugar.  Add one egg and mix into the pumpkin batter.  Continue and add second egg, mixing after each addition.  Do the same for each egg then mix in the water and vanilla extract.  Lastly, stir in all the chocolate pieces.

Using a wooden spoon, mix all the sifted ingredients into the liquid batter.  Empty the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.  Bake 65-85 minutes or until tester comes out clean, stopping and rotating pan half way through baking time.

Place pan on rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  Then invert loaf onto the rack and let cool completely. This should take about 45 minutes.

Once cooled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the pumpkin loaf into 1 inch cubes.  Place each cube on the parchment paper, spacing evenly.  Let bake for 10 minutes.  Remove pan and turn cubes over and let bake an additional 10 minutes. Continue with the process until all cubes are toasted.  Let cubes sit and cool for about 20 minutes.

To make the custard, stir together the eggs, egg yolks and brown sugar until blended.  Mix in the half and half, pumpkin puree and only 5 tbs of the melted butter.  Once well combined, stir in the 5 different spices listed on the ingredient list as well as salt and vanilla extract.  Fold in all but one cup of toasted pumpkin bread cubes.  Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring at 10 minute intervals, to allow the bread cubes to absorb the custard.

During the last 10 minute interval, butter the inside of a 9X13 inch glass pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toss the reserved cup of the bread cubes into the remaining melted butter.  

Pour the custard mixture into the pan and make sure all the lumps are distributed evenly.  Then toss the buttered bread cubes on top.  Place pan in oven and bake until tester comes out clean, which should be about 45-55 minutes.

Remove and place pan on wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes, then serve warm.  For an extra special treat, you can top the dessert with whatever you prefer.  The recipe suggests: powdered sugar, whipped cream or caramel. Enjoy!
                         **LAST YEAR:Midnight Tropic Cupcakes**