White Chocolate Bread Pudding
1 loaf brioche, challah or other sweet bread
4 oz. butter, melted
16 oz. white chocolate, chunked
2 C. milk
2 C. heavy cream
2/3 C. sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
8 large eggs
Preheat oven to 325° F. Cut the brioche loaf into 1-inch dice. Place in a 2-quart baking dish.
Drizzle with melted butter. Toss chunked white chocolate with bread cubes. Combine milk, cream, sugar and vanilla bean and bring to a boil over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Whisk eggs until smooth. Add hot milk mixture to eggs slowly, stirring constantly. (Do not whisk a lot or custard will have a great deal of foam on the surface.) Skim foam from custard.
Strain custard over bread and chocolate. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow custard to soak into bread.
Place baking dish in another larger pan. Pour hot water into larger dish to reach 1 inch up side of dish. Bake the bread pudding for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until custard is set and brioche is golden. Yield: 10-12 servings.