White Chocolate Praline Bread Pudding

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This is a recipe that I’ve come up with after having White Chocolate Bread Pudding at a little restaurant called Paw Paw’s Kajun Kitchen in Sevierville Tennessee last year.  We had gorged on all-you-can-eat crawfish (flown in that morning) while on vacation and were chatting with the owner who does all the cooking.  A charming southern gal, originally from New Orleans, she asked if we’d saved room for dessert.  “Not even if it was free” (my typical reply when I’m stuffed) but she seemed disappointed and tempted us with “not even for my White Chocolate Bread Pudding?”

She had my attention and I couldn’t imagine not trying it! I was in heaven.  It was so good I took a second order to go. Past the midday rush, she sat down and told me her secret was not just the white chocolate sauce but to include white chocolate in the bread/custard mixture.  I vowed to re-create this amazing dessert.

After searching for recipes, I’ve come up with my take on it adding a little twist – a praline pecan topping.  The recipe for the White Chocolate Sauce follows.

White Chocolate Praline Bread Pudding            serves 8-12

Bread Pudding:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 c milk
  • 6 c cubed white bread – crusts removed (I use whatever stale bread that I have frozen – italian, french etc.)
  • 1/2 c Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chips

Praline Topping:

  • 1/4 c brown sugar (packed)
  • 3-4 T butter
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

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After cubing bread, set aside in a large mixing bowl.  Next – and this is important, beat the 4 eggs in a separate bowl for 7-10 minutes (this does matter – it almost gives it a souffle quality, trust me).

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Set a timer for the 7-10 minutes of whipping time!

Continue beating while you add the sugar and milk until blended.  Pour over the bread and fold in repeatedly – pushing down the cubes so all the bread is soaked, set aside for 15 minutes (I give at least two more good stirs during this time).

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In a small saute pan, melt the butter, add the brown sugar followed by the pecans.  Stir together on a low heat for 10 minutes, bubbling but with care not to burn.

Back to the bread mixture, stir in the white chocolate chips.  Setting your oven at 350 degrees, butter an 8×8 pan and spoon the bread pudding mixture into the pan (there will be some liquid that hasn’t absorbed into the bread).  Use a spatula or spoon to press it evenly across the top and into the corners.

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Using a small spoon, drop the praline pecans evenly over the top of the pudding.

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Bake for 50 minutes.  You’ll notice that it rises, like a souffle (it will come down a bit as it cools).

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Allow it to cool for at least 45 minutes.  When ready to serve, top each serving with the White Chocolate Sauce (recipe below) and enjoy.  If you don’t finish this the first night, refrigerate it, then re-warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave.

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White Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 c half and half (or cream)
  • 1 T butter
  • 8 oz Ghiradelli Classic White Chocolate Chips

Heat the half and half (do not boil), when it begins to bubble, remove from heat whisking in the butter and white chocolate.  Set aside and cover until you’re ready to serve.  This stores nicely in the refrigerator and stays liquid, just a bit thicker.

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