White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Sautéed Berries
This is a recipe many years in the making. I’ve stalled on making it for many reasons, the most notable being lack of confidence. Through the years, I’ve made many modifications to it while in draft mode. I always felt there was something missing. Then, while in NZ, Geoffrey and I spotted vegan white chocolate bars at a local supermarket chain. It was like spotting an endangered bird for me. Suddenly I knew just what was missing from my dream dessert. We brought back many of these white chocolate bars with us and I’ve been keeping a stash for the day I decided to take on this challenge. Well, this weekend, I finally slapped on the apron of courage and created it. The results were extraordinary, which is just what I’d hoped for. It’s a dessert worthy of bringing in a New Year with, which we did, delightfully. If you’re looking to serve a spectacular dessert at your next special occasion or vegan dinner party that doesn’t just look amazing, but tastes so as well, I have your winning recipe right here.
1 qt coconut milk, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 loaf stale bread, cut into cubes
1/2 pkg firm aseptic silken tofu
1/2 cup sugar
1 bar vegan white chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups frozen berries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
1 tbsp cognac (optional)
White Chocolate Sauce
1 bar vegan white chocolate, roughly chopped
3/4 cup coconut milk creamer
2 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
1 tbsp cognac (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil an 8×8 baking dish. Set aside. I realize this may seem like too small a baking dish for this recipe. The bread cubes might actually poke out of the top a bit. That is totally fine. The bread pudding will recess a bit after it is out of the oven. You want the end result to be tall (and proud) and a small baking dish will make that happen !
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 quart coconut milk, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in bread cubes until well coated. Set aside for 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Fold in the finely chopped white chocolate bar. Transfer to baking dish.
3. In a blender, combine the remaining coconut milk, tofu, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour over bread cubes in baking dish.
4. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until firm and golden brown.
5. To make the sautéed berries, place berries, lemon juice, sugar and cognac, if using, in medium bowl. Toss to coat. Melt margarine in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add berry mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes or until juices thicken slightly, stirring gently.
6. In a double broiler, stir remaining vegan white chocolate bar and coconut milk creamer until melted. Once smooth, add the margarine and cognac, if using.
7. Re-heat the large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt a dab of margarine and pan-fry a serving of bread pudding until outside is crispy. Transfer to serving plate. Scoop sautéed berries on and around the bread pudding. Drizzle with white chocolate sauce. Repeat for each serving. Serve warm.
Yields 4 large or 9 small servings