Thanksgiving Sides and Desserts German Chocolate Bread Pudding

Mom asked me if I wanted to contribute some ideas of sides/desserts for all the upcoming holiday dinners. I said I would...and this recipe is a new favorite. Most of our holiday meals are usually packed with rich food and rich dessert...both of the same is just too much. This recipe is the perfect ending to any kind of big meal. It has just the right amount of sweetness to offset dinner but not so much that its overpowering. We agree that it actually gets better the longer it sets It also might appear to be a lot of complicated steps but its not...its very simple and doesn't take a lot of time. My family always enjoys trying new food, we are not one to have the same old stuff. Of course we have the staples but there's always a little something different too  Plenty of good reasons to add it to your table this year!

German Chocolate Bread Pudding

For the Bread Pudding
1  Tbsp. butter softened
2  cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
1  stick butter, cubed
1  cup packed brown sugar
2  cups milk
2  eggs
2  Tbsp. vanilla extract
2  tsp. instant espresso powder
1/2  tsp. table salt
10-24 slices Texas toast, (not the frozen,  get it in the bread section)
cut into 1 inch cubes    air-dry

For the sauce
2  Tbsp. butter
1/2  cup packed light brown sugar
1/2  cup heavy cream
1  egg yolk
pinch of table salt
1/4  cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4  cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

For the whipped cream
1/4  cup heavy cream
2   Tbsp sifted powder sugar
1-2   Tbsp brandy  (optional)

Preheat oven to 350  coat a  9 inch springform pan with the 1 tbsp. softened butter.

Melt chocolate chips,  1 stick butter,  and 1 cup brown sugar for the pudding in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir mixture frequently until its smooth,  about 8 minutes.

Whisk together milk, eggs,  vanilla,  espresso  powder, and salt.  Pour over bread cubes; toss well so bread  absorbs most of the liquid and begins to lose its shape.

Fold melted chocolate mixture into the bread mixture,  transfer to the prepared pan.  Bake pudding until center springs back when gently pressed.  60-75 minutes.
(Cover pudding with foil if it begins to get too brown.)  Cool pudding in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove the springform ring.

Melt the 2 Tbsp. butter with the 1/2 cup brown sugar for the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the 1/2 cup cream,  egg yolk,  and pinch of salt;  boil until slightly thickened about 1 minute.  Remove sauce from heat;  add pecans, coconut, and the 2 tsp. brandy.  Transfer sauce to a bowl;  cool to room temperature.

Using a hand mixer,  beat together the 3/4 cup cream powdered sugar, and the 1/2 Tbsp brandy for the whipped cream until soft peaks form.  To serve, spoon sauce over warm bread pudding and top servings with whipped cream.

Make Ahead Directions:
Cube the bread and set it out to dry 2-3 days ahead.  Make the sauce 1 day ahead,  then reheat before serving.  The pudding can be made up to a day ahead, chilled, then baked and served warm.


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