Posted by: njbrown | June 30, 2011

Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding With Cointreau Whipped Cream


Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding With Cointreau Whipped Cream

Last weekend, my husband went away with his men’s group for their annual early summer retreat.  George asked if I would like to make something for them, and since I am now retired and have ample time, I made several things, including a chocolate bread pudding that I adapted from one of Paula Deen’s recipes.  I usually shy away from darling Paula’s dishes because of the calories and cholesterol, but this one wasn’t too bad, and the flavor was wonderful.  However, my favorite flavor combination is chocolate and orange, and I began to think that a chocolate orange bread pudding would be even better.

Until we came to Canada, I had never seen Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, and until recently, I only knew of the milk chocolate variety.  Since all the chocolate bread pudding recipes I could find called for semi-sweet chocolate, and I had seen a dark chocolate variety put out by Terry, I decided this could be the flavor base of my recipe.  I think orange zest is always good, and I had orange extract in the cupboard.  I increased the amount of cocoa I’d seen in other recipes because Paula’s wasn’t quite chocolatey enough for me.  To lighten the overall effect (if whipping cream can be said to lighten a dish), I decided Cointreau flavored whipped cream would be nice.  I don’t even want to think of the calories in this dessert, but it doesn’t contain butter, and 2 percent milk and 18 per cent cream can be used for the bread pudding itself, making it slightly less sinful than it might be.

One thing I loved about Paula Deen’s recipe is that it baked at 325 degrees, thereby avoiding the hassles of a water bath.  So this, too, is baked at 325.

(Serves 8 to 10)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-lb) loaf  Italian bread, cut into cubes
  • 8 ounces Terry’s Dark Orange Chocolate – chopped
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup coffee
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F
  2. Butter 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.
  3. Transfer bread to prepared dish.
  4. Bring milk and cream just to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat.
  5. Add chopped chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth.
  6. Whisk sugar and yolks in a medium bowl to blend.  Add cocoa, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract and orange extract.
  7. Whisk chocolate mixture into sugar mixture (now a custard mixture).
  8. Pour custard over bread.  Let stand about 20 minutes stirring occasionally (some custard will not be absorbed). (Can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead. Refrigerate.)
  9. Bake 50 to 60 minutes until just set but center moves slightly when dish is shaken. When done, knife in center should come out almost clean.
  10. Serve with Cointreau flavored whipped cream.

Whipped Cream Ingredients
(Whipped Cream is optional!)

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau

Directions for whipped cream:

  1. Whip cream  until soft peaks form, add sugar and beat briefly, add Cointreau and beat again briefly.

Renee’s  Candied Orange Zest

This candy can be used to garnish an  unlimited amount of pastry and desserts. Use Navel oranges as these oranges have thicker peels and will give you thicker strands of zested orange rind.

Directions:

  1. Take three  oranges and wash well; dry.
  2. Pour about one  cup of granulated sugar in a cake pan or pie tin and set aside.
  3. Using a zesting tool, remove the orange part of the rind in long, thin strips starting at the top of the orange and with even pressure continue all the way to the bottom. Continue removing all the zest in strips. Rinse well in cool water and set  aside.
  4. Bring to boil one cup of sugar and half cup of water and add in the orange zest. Reduce heat  until it is very gently boiling and continue to cook until the orange zest starts to look translucent.
  5. Drain well in a  fine mesh sieve (don’t rinse with water) and immediately transfer to the dish with the sugar.
  6. Toss and separate each strand of zested orange rind so that each strip is completely coated with sugar. Add more granulated sugar for tossing if necessary.
  7. Let set for a few minutes and continue tossing. Let set another few minutes and toss again.
  8. Very gently remove from the sugar as needed for garnish.

Can be used immediately or kept for up to a week in  a tightly covered container.

From  http://www.pastrysampler.com/Questions_and_Answers/candied_zest.htm

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