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Chocolate Cappuccino Bread Pudding

Here's some comfort food for a cold winter's night. It also makes an excellent finishing touch for a special dinner!

Ingredients

For custard:
1/2 cup brewed Café Campesino coffee (dark roast recommended)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
3 cups half and half
3 cups 1-inch cubes day-old bread or brioche (about 1/3 pound)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chocolate chips

For caramel sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted or sweet butter

Accompaniment: 
whipped cream flavored with cinnamon

Recipe

Make custard: In a small saucepan, combine brewed coffee and 2 tablespoons sugar and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Cool syrup. In a large bowl, whisk together whole eggs, egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, half and half and syrup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread bread cubes in a 9-inch square baking dish and sprinkle with almonds and chocolate chips. Pour custard over bread, making sure all bread cubes are thoroughly covered, and let stand 30 minutes. Put baking dish in a large pan and add enough water to pan to reach halfway up side of dish. Bake bread pudding in middle of oven for 55 minutes, or until golden brown and center is set.

Make caramel sauce: In a small heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil syrup, without stirring, but swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is deep golden. Remove pan from heat and add cream slowly; mixture will bubble up. Cook sauce over low heat, stirring until smooth. Add butter; stir until melted.

Serve bread pudding with warm caramel and cinnamon whipped cream.


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