Greetings Neighbor Northers,
How’s about some Choco-Coffee Bread Pudding? It’s a treat the Urban Farmer has been dreaming about recently. It puts her in mind of the treat featured in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: white bread doused with milk, then fancified with a sprinkling of sugar. Choco-coffee bread pudding is way worthier and fancier and tons of upgrades higher than the dessert featured in Tree, but it’s still rather old schoolsy and penny pinching. It will keep your wallet fat. The Urban Farmer reckons you can treat yourself to a whole casserole’s worth of it for the same amount of dough you’d spend on one brownie at a coffee shop. If you chop the CCBP pieces small enough, you’ll be snacking on this stuff for days. Also, you don’t need to tell anyone you serve it to how cheap it was to make. That can be your secret.
What else the Urban Farmer likes about CCBP is how totally easy it is. For not much effort, you get a whopping big reward. Plus, because it’s “bread,” you can eat it at breakfast. Yeah, sure, the Urban Farmer knows you can eat brownies for breakfast. She’s done it. But can you do it without guilt? Without a backward glance? With CCBP, you sit back, smug and relaxed, and cut yourself another delicious square.
If you’re like the Urban Farmer, you’ll have most of the ingredients on hand, right down to the packet of instant coffee and butter for greasing the pan. The only ingredient the Urban Farmer trekked to the store for was the ½ pint of whipping cream.
Choco-Coffee Bread Pudding
Cube up 5-6 cups white bread. (The Urban Farmer used a French bread like loaf. The loaf was hefty and she used about ½. The original recipe pushed Brioche, but the Urban Farmer was having none of that. Too fancy. Get out of here. Who are they kidding? The Urban Farmer’s staying true to bread pudding’s basic necessity roots. Plain, densely crumbed white, with thousands of tiny air pockets to soak up the sauce, is absolutely fine.)
Dump the bread cubes into a buttered casserole type dish (the Urban Farmer has made it with a glass oblong dish with steep sides, 10 inches x 8 x 3 inches high, but also with the 12 x 10 inch pumpkin-colored dish depicted here). Set the dish aside while you make the sauce.
Sauce: Heat up ½ cup milk (the Urban Farmer uses soy, but you can use cow or whatever kind floats your boat).
Stir in 1 T instant coffee powder. The Urban Farmer used 1 packet Via. Be vigorous in your stirring. You want the powder to completely dissolve into the milk.
In a good-sized mixing bowl, mix together the following:
1 cup milk
½ pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
4 eggs (whipped)
2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ t vanilla extract
¼ t salt
3 T cocoa powder (The Urban Farmer suggests you sift this to break up any pesky, hard-to-incorporate lumps.)
After you’ve mixed all this together, mix in the coffee-infused milk.
Now for the fun part. Pour the choco-mocha sauce over the bread cubes. The idea is for the cubes to become submerged. If necessary, gently press the bread cubes down below the milky liquid with the back of a spoon.
From here, you have two ways to proceed, rushed or leisurely.
The rushed method: Let pudding sit for 10-15 minutes, then bake at 350 until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean (maybe 35-40 minutes).
The leisurely method: Cover baking dish with saran wrap and set in the fridge overnight. The next morning, fire up your oven to 350, pop in the pudding, and bake as explained above.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then enjoy!