Thanksgiving has come and gone for this year, but plan ahead by holding on to this recipe for the remainder of the Holidays. This dish cannot be easier! Your friends will beg for the recipe, but hold of-at least for a good price. With all the wonderful breads in this contest, there will certainly be some left over. This is the perfect use for leftover bread; quite frankly I either bake some or buy some just for this recipe.
Step 1: Ingredients
1 loaf of french bread, or similar
1.5 quarts of good vanilla ice cream
1 T vanilla
That is all, I promise!
Step 2: Prepare the Bread
Tear up the equivalent of one large loaf of bread (enough to fill a 3 qt baking dish). Allow the torn bread bits to stale. Homemade bread will harden quickly in fresh air; I generally place on a baking sheet in very low oven at 200 degrees.
Once bread pieces are sufficiently dried (dried, not toasted) transfer to baking dish.
Step 3: Prepare the White Chocolate Mix
Melt 1.5 quarts of good vanilla ice cream, you can either let the ice cream melt naturally, or use the microwave. In a large sauce pan place the melted ice cream to warm up slowly. Add three eggs and one tablespoon vanilla (can never have too much) stir until well mixed. Meanwhile place about 9 ounces of white chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl and melt using the defrost mode. Chips will retain their shape but become soft. White chocolate burns very quickly, better to add more time than burn the chips (the smell is not too pleasant either).
Once the melted ice cream starts to become warm add the softened chips. Stir until dissolved, do not let the mixture burn on the bottom, or overheat, as it will bubble and overflow. I usually use a portable mixer to expedite the dissolving process.
Step 4: Assemble the Goodness
Once dissolved, ladle the mixture over the dried bread. Take your time here, you really want the bread to absorb the mixture, add almost all of the mixture, retain about ½ cup. If desired, sprinkle with a few chips. I sometimes let the mixture set for a while!
Step 5: Bake and Prepare Sauce
Place baking dish in another shallow tray filled with water, cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 275 degrees. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes uncovered or until set.
Melt the remaining chips with the retained ice cream mixture. This is either done over a double boiler, or in short bursts in the microwave, stir often. The result will be a wonderfully sweet sauce. Serve pudding warm or cold (I prefer warm) drizzled with sauce, garnish appropriately: white chocolate shavings, raspberries, cranberries, etc.
Step 6: Variations and Thoughts...
Clearly, this is a base recipe that lends itself to additional experimentation. Imagine with white chocolate ice cream, or peach ice cream (lose the chips, or maybe not) with fresh peaches or a peach syrup.
I hope you enjoy this as much as all these great bread recipes, and on the bright side you have additional justification for baking more bread!