Friday, March 22, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

First of all, yum. Second of all, I wish I weren't so afraid of making custard, I would live and die eating bread pudding.

This week we had a reason to celebrate. I can't tell you all about it yet, but there are no babies in our immediate future. That's all you get.

I tweeted not so long ago that I was dying to make this sweet potato bread pudding for weeks! It kept almost happening too. I bought all the ingredients, picked the day, and then other stuff got in the way. Last weekend, I blocked out a little bit of time and finally made the bread.

Sweet potatoes were steamed and smashed while a whole mess of butter softened.

Ingredients were gathered. I tend to gather when recipes intimidate me.

Everything was mixed together in a bowl.

 and then baked

 to glorious perfection.

Just as a little FYI, this bread is uh-mazing all by itself. It's similar to a pumpkin bread, but its got the subtle sweetness from the potatoes plus a little kick from the cracked pepper.
What I'm trying to say is, if you want to stop here and go to town on this bread, no one will judge you. It's that good.

So, I had the bread and I was bound and determined to turn it into bread pudding. When the recipe couldn't come to fruition that same day, I forbade us from eating it, wrapped it up, and put it in the fridge until Wednesday night finally rolled around.

Wednesday was the day things happened. You're gonna think it's boring once I finally tell you about it, but I can't yet, so it's edge of your seat business. It was cause to celebrate.

Everything about this bread pudding blows my mind. The subtle sweet potato flavor, the way the tiny bit of clove nestles its way into every bit, the dark chocolate somehow manages to stay light and not totally overwhelm the dish, and my favoritey favorite part; the way the heavy cream and granulated sugar bake into the top of the pudding, adding a little bit of candy crunch. I wanted this in every bite.

We had all the custard ingredients and a giant block of chocolate, which I got to chopping...

and melted within minutes of getting home from yoga.

Then all the gooeyness was whisked together while milk and cream got a little bubbly on the stove. I don't have any pictures of me pouring and whisking the milk into the egg mixture, but it happened.

Bread was cut into perfect little cubes.

and then I poured all the chocolately custardy goodness all over that business.

Then you press the bread into the puddles so it soaks up all the custard and you don't have any dry bits.

Drizzle with heavy cream and granulated sugar - don't skip this step. It's too amazing.

and then bake it at 325 for an hour.

This recipe is a two parter - the bread and then the pudding. It takes a little patience, but it's totally worth it, I promise.

Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from Eat the Love

Two medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into medium size chunks
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
11 tbsp (1 3/8ths stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Steam the sweet potatoes until they are soft when pierced with a fork. Then smash 'em all up.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine your butter and sugar. You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or pastry blender. Once you've got it light and fluffy, add your eggs one at a time. Once it's all evenly combined, add the vanilla extract, sour cream, and baking soda, and switch to a scraper or spoon if you've been using a pastry blender to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine all of your flours and spices. Then alternate adding and incorporating half of the flour mixture, then half of the mashed sweet potatoes, the rest of the flour mixture, and the rest of the sweet potatoes.

Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, 1/2 cup of sugar, and spices. Whisk until evenly combined into a gooey paste.
Heat the milk and 1 cup of cream together over medium heat until it starts to bubble on the outside edges of the pan.
Then slowly and at a steady pace, pour the cream into your egg mixture, making sure to whisk the entire time until you've got all of the cream in. If you poor it in too fast, you'll cook your eggs and you it won't really be pudding with scrambled eggs all in it.

Melt your chocolate - in the microwave or on a double boiler. Whatevs. Then whisk the chocolate into your custard.

Then take your bread and cut it up into approx. 1 inch cubes and put them into your greased baking dish. Pour the custard over your bread pieces, then move around any that you need to make sure they all get properly soaked in custard. Then drizzle the remaining half cup of cream and 2 tbsp of sugar over the top, and bake for 60 minutes at 325.

Allow to cool just a little bit before diving right into that business with a spoon.

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