“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller
With all of the travels and restaurants along the way, we have come across some amazing and unforgettable foods. While it can’t always be duplicated, and some recipes will never be found or recreated, I have decided to add a new topic to my blog…recipes! As many delicious recipes as I can find, that I can get as close as possible to the taste that we came across on the road, I will be adding here as I go. I may even add a few tried and true recipes that we love. To begin, how about some bread pudding, New Orleans style!
This dessert is a favorite in our family and with many of our friends. This is as close as I can find to the bread pudding that we voluntarily burn our mouths for, repeatedly, in New Orleans. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
White Chocolate Praline Bread Pudding
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of milk
- 6 cups cubed stale french bread
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp real butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
White Chocolate Sauce
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 tbsp butter
- 8 oz white chocolate chips
While small, one serving ramekins are best for this recipe, you can use an 8×8 glass or metal pan if you don’t have them.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the ramekins or the pan.
After placing cubed French bread into a large bowl and setting it aside, beat 4 eggs in a separate bowl for approximately 10 minutes. Continue beating as you add 3/4 sugar, 2 cups of milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over cubed breading, folding until well mixed and all of the bread is well saturated. Set the mixture aside.
In a small saucepan melt 3 tbsp butter. Add in 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Stir together over medium-high heat until bubbling. Add in 1/2 tsp vanilla. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Remove from heat.
While the praline topping starts to cool, stir in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to bread mixture. Spoon bread mixture into the ramekins, pressing the mixture down well, to approximately 1/2 full. Spoon a dollop of praline mixture over each ramekin of bread mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, making sure the pudding is cooked through and not burnt.
With the pudding in the oven, gently heat 1/2 cup half and half in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until beginning to bubble. Whisk in 8 oz white chocolate chips and one tbsp of butter until chips are melted and the mixture is well mixed. Remove from heat and set aside until bread pudding is ready to serve. Drizzle over the top of the bread pudding just prior to serving.
While I would LOVE to tell you to let this cool for 30 minutes, I know that I am not very good at that myself. Just know that if you burn yourself while eating this bowl of yummy molten lava, it is by your choice and I am not liable, as I did warn you that this is extremely hot when it comes out of the oven! Now, if you want to get extremely adventurous in your baking of this dessert, below I have included a recipe for a New Orleans style praline that you can make prior to this dessert and place the praline on top before baking instead of the praline style topping. Either way, this is a great recipe and I hope you have happy, burn-free mouths while eating it!
New Orleans Praline Recipe
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 4 tbsp butter, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan combine the white sugar, brown sugar, and evaporated milk over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then insert a candy thermometer.
- Cook the candy, stirring occasionally until the candy reaches 240 degrees F.
- Once the proper temperature is reached, remove the pan from the heat and drop the cubes of butter on top, but do not stir. Allow the pan to sit for 1 minute.
- After 1 minute, add the vanilla extract and the pecans, and begin to stir smoothly and constantly with a wooden spoon. Soon the candy will begin to get thicker and lighter in color.
- Continue to stir until the candy starts to hold its shape. It should still be easy to stir, however. It is important not to stir too much, as pralines quickly harden.
- Once it is a lighter, opaque brown and holds its shape, quickly begin to drop small spoonfuls of the candy onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Work quickly to form the candies, as the pralines will start to set in the saucepan. If the candy stiffens before you’re done scooping, add a spoonful of very hot water and stir until it loosens, then continue scooping until you have formed all the pralines.
- Allow the candy to fully set at room temperature, for about 30 minutes. Store pralines in an airtight container at room temperature.