December 2015:  White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1 3-oz bar of organic white chocolate
7 cups stale classic French baguette bread, cubed
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1&1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
butter (unmelted) to grease slow cooker

1. Combine dried fruit and brandy in a simmer pot.  Bring brandy to a slight boil, mix fruit, & remove from heat.  Allow to cool.  Drain the fruit, reserving the liquid.

2. Finely chop the white chocolate.

3. Grease small slow cooker with butter.

4. Add half of the bread cubes to the greased slow cooker.  Top with half of the cranberries and half of the white chocolate.  Layer remaining bread cubes and top with remaining cranberries and white chocolate.

5.  In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 eggs and sugar.  Add the leftover liquid from the dried cranberries, the half-and-half, the vanilla bean paste, and the melted butter.  Whisk until smooth.

6. Pour egg mixture over the bread mixture, pressing down gently with a spoon to moisten bread.

7. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour 45 minutes.  Do not lift the lid until set and puffed.

Serve warm.  (Delicious topped with vanilla ice cream!)

Serves 4 to 6.

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