White Chocolate and Raspberry Bread Pudding

  • Yield 8 servings

A Venezuelan-style bread pudding made with flaky croissants and topped with a white chocolate sauce.

white-chocolate-raspberry-bread-pudding
Quentin Bacon

"Torta de pan is Venezuela’s version of bread pudding made with condensed milt for extra creaminess and spiked with rum for a kick. I make mine with flaky croissants, and instead of condensed milk, I make a silky white chocolate sauce that gets poured over croissant cubes and fresh raspberries. It bakes into a rich custard, creating an incredibly elegant yet simple dessert—especially when they’re baked in individual portions."—Lorena Garcia

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
4 -- plain day-old croisaants, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups heavy cream
1 -- vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries
4 large eggs
2 -- egg yolks
-- Whipped cream for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with the butter.
  2. Spread the croissant cubes out in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Pour the cream into a medium saucepan. Use the back of a paring knife to scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean and add both to the cream. Stir in the white chocolate. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the white chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the rum, sugar, and 1/4 cup of water over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Place the raspberries in a medium bowl and pour the rum syrup over the berries. Gently stir to combine. Cover the croissant cubes with the rum-soaked raspberries and syrup.
  5. Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Remove the vanilla bean from the white chocolate mixture and then whisk about 1 cup of the white chocolate mixture into the eggs. Once the bottom of the bowl is warm (you may need to add 1/2 to 1 cup more of the white chocolate mixture to sufficiently temper the eggs so they don’t curdle), whisk in the remaining white chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula to scrape this mixture evenly over the raspberries and croissant cubes.
  6. Place the pan with the bread pudding in a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the center of the pudding is set and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.
Reprinted with permission for Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics: Fresh Ideas for Favorite Dishes (Ballantine Books, 2011). 

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