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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Deep Rich Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding Soufflé, Charred Marshmallow Fluff

Inspiration:  Smores and toasted marshmallows by the fire

Ahhhh marshmallows!  I love them.  I love them plain and can eat quite a few but really, for me,  they are best when toasted over the fire, slightly burnt, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. 

I had a recent interesting exchange about the best way to eat a toasted marshmallow and the consensus was that it should be eaten in steps i.e. pulling only the hot, charred exterior into your mouth and toasting them again to repeat this whole process until the whole marshmallow is gone.   This discussion inevitably lead to reminiscing about smores and how incredibly good they are.  Simple pleasures 😍.

This recipe was inspired by the memories of smores we ate as kids and the ones we sometimes indulge in now.  The chocolate layer is represented by the bread pudding combined with rich dark chocolate.   The crunch you get from the traditional graham cracker comes out in the pecan pieces and the crispy top of the bread pudding and for the marshmallow, I used marshmallow fluff (remember that? - you can make your own here), charred with a blow torch.  It is a delicious addictive desert.  Top it with some ice cream too and then the marshmallow - even more decadent!😋

Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding Soufflé:  makes 8 portions
  • 8 cups (2L) of egg bread (challah), cut in 1/2 inch cubes (3 rolls)
  • 2 cups (480ml) of heavy cream
  • 1 large bar (100g) of dark chocolate (I used 80% cocoa), chopped
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1T (15ml) of vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup (150g) of sugar (+ extra to line the pan)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of salted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) of pecan pieces
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) of chocolate chips
How to make them:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) - (350°F if you have a convection oven).  You will be using the centre rack of the oven.

Place the cubed egg bread (8 cups - 2L) on a baking sheet and brush on the melted butter (1/4 cup - 60ml) saving a little to butter the baking pan.  Toast the bread for 13 minutes or until golden.  

This batter will fill a 8 inch in diameter pan with 2 inch high sides (or square 8 inch baking dish).  Butter and sugar the pan you will be using. 

Place the chopped chocolate (100g) in a medium bowl and heat the heavy cream (2 cups - 480ml) over medium high heat until it begins to smoke (about 3 minutes).

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk until all the chocolate is melted and combined with the cream.

In another bowl,  place the egg yolks (4) and the sugar (3/4 cup - 150g) and whisk until well blended and light in colour (2 minutes).

Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the blanched eggs and sugar, whisking vigourously.

Add the toasted bread cubes to the liquid and stir to blend completely.  Soak the bread for 10 minutes.  

While the bread is soaking, beat the egg whites (with a pinch of salt) until stiff peaks form.

After the bread has soaked for 10 minutes, add the pecan pieces (1/3 cup - 80ml) and the chocolate chips (1/3 cup - 80ml).  Stir to combine. Add the whipped egg whites (4) to the bread batter and gently fold in. Transfer to your prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.

When ready to plate, top the bread pudding with a dollop of marshmallow fluff (I found mine with the ice cream toppings in the grocery store or make your own here) and toast with a cooking blow torch (you can also place under the broiler but watch it carefully). 

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