Let's talk about rye bread. Most people find rye bread polarizing- you either love it or hate it. I tend to fall in the latter category but when rye is done right, it is so good. Rye gets its distinctive flavor from caraway seeds. Did you know that caraway seeds come from the carrot family? Neither did I. Rye is typically associated with savory fare but when given the chance, it can shine spectacularly in sweet dishes as well. Try swapping out a portion of your regular flour for rye flour in your cookies and cakes for a sweet twist on old traditions.
This bread pudding is made from rich rye bread, deep dark chocolate, and a pinch of orange zest to brighten everything up. It is decadent. And to make things worse, I mean BETTER, it is topped with warm, buttery white chocolate sauce. This is the kind of dessert perfect for a snowy night, or while under the covers in bed, or for your holiday table.
In a medium saucepan:
1 cup [235 grams] heavy cream
3/4 cup [150 grams] light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups [340 grams] dark chocolate, chopped
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 cups [500 grams] whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
Pinch of espresso powder, optional but awesome
6 cups [165 grams] rye bread, cubed and stale
On the sidelines:
Warm White Chocolate Sauce, recipe as follows
In the saucepan, combine all ingredients and set over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer. Turn of the heat and let sit for several minutes to further melt the chocolate. Whisk every few minutes until the chocolate is fully melted and the ingredients have formed a smooth consistency.
In the first bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Add in the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Pour over the stale bread cubes in the second bowl and toss to evenly coat the bread with the chocolate mixture. Cover and let sit for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a medium-sized casserole dish. Pour the chocolate and bread mixture into the casserole dish and ensure that all the bread pieces have been soaked in the sauce.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. The top will be slightly crispy and the middle will still have a tiny wiggle to it. Let cool for an hour. Serve with Warm White Chocolate Sauce.
Warm White Chocolate Sauce
1 cup [200 grams] white chocolate chips
1/4 cup [55 grams] heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Tiny splash of vanilla extract
In a microwaveable bowl, combine all ingredients. Microwave in 15 second intervals and stir between each interval until completely melted and combined. This took me about two minutes. Drizzle over the bread pudding.