Monday, June 27, 2011

The Chocolate Biscuit

I am always trying to figure out new and creative twists on classic favorites.  This evening my kids were clamoring for something sweet, and I started searching through the cabinets and the refrigerator for ingredients that I could use in a dessert.   After rummaging through the kitchen and finding a bunch of different things, the first idea that came to mind was a cinnamon sugar biscuit with sliced strawberries, but then I  realized I had semi-sweet chocolate handy, and it finally hit me, chocolate biscuits!  So I modified my normal buttermilk biscuit recipe and added melted semi-sweet chocolate.  I topped it with sweetened whipped cream and a little powder sugar.  They were off the hook!  I am huge believer that people should be creative in the kitchen, and try things that you haven't seen or prepared before.  Below are pictures.

I am shooting some new videos soon and will post the biscuit recipe then.  My focus on the next few videos will delve into new and creative breakfast/brunch dishes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crème Brulee Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I have been hooked on this dessert since my Father introduced it to me when I was kid.  I have had many different versions of bread pudding, including savory recipes.  I have been working on this recipe for a little while, fine tuning it to the exact flavor combination's I love, but also keeping some sense of the traditional flavors of this classic dish.  I have made this for clients, family, and friends and they all love it.  This was actually the very first dessert I made in culinary school. Enjoy!


Bread Pudding
1 loaf of stale Challah Bread cubed
½ gallon of Half & Half
2 tbsp of Butter
4 Eggs Yolks
2 Eggs
1 Vanilla Bean
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¾ Cup of Golden Raisins
½ Cup Grand Marnier
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans

Caramel Bourbon Sauce
1 Stick of unsalted butter
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
½ cup of Heavy Cream
¼ cup of your favorite Bourbon



Pour Grand Marnier in a pot on the stovetop.   Heat until it starts to simmer.  Then remove from the heat and add raisins.  Allow raisins to soak in the Grand Marnier until all of the liquid is absorbed.


1. Pour Half & Half in a pot and heat on the stove top on medium low heat.  Split Vanilla Bean in half and scraped seeds into the pot of half & half, then add the split bean as well.  To this mixture add the two Cinnamon sticks.  It should be heated for about 10 minutes, but it shouldn't come up to a simmer or boil.

2. In a bowl combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Whisk together until they are incorporated.

3. Remove the half & half liquid from the stove top and strain it into a bowl.  This removes the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.

4. Then temper the egg and sugar mixture with the half & half liquid.  To do this ladle a little of the hot liquid into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk.  Repeat this process 4 to 5 more times so that eggs are slowly brought up to the same temperature as the liquid.  Once this has been done, pour the half & half, egg, and sugar mixture back into the remaining half & half liquid.  Then pour the mixture back into a pot and put it back on the stove on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  The custard will start to thicken.  After 5 minutes strain the hot custard liquid into a bowl and add the stale cubed Challah bread. Allow the bread to soak in the custard liquid for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes fold in the toasted pecans and raisins.  Then add a pinch of nutmeg.  Save a little bit of the raisins and pecans for garnish. 

6. Now pour the mixture into a buttered loaf or square pan. 

7. Place your pan into a water-bath in a 350-degree oven.  Cook for 35 – 40 minutes or until the custard has set. If you insert a toothpick it should come out clean.

8. Once it is done, remove it from the oven and let stand for 10 – 15 minutes. 

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

In a saucepan melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add the brown sugar. Once the brown sugar has dissolved, add bourbon, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and remove from the heat.  Using a wooden spoon stir caramel sauce until it is fully incorporated.

To Serve
On a plate ladle a nice amount of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Place a piece of the bread pudding on top of the caramel sauce.  Then pour a little more of the caramel sauce on top.  Then finish by topping with the left over pecans and raisins.