Because you always want more of it!
Let’s talk dessert… Sweet, chocolately, warm, melting, frozen, juicy dessert –YES – With the passing of Valentine’s Day, there will soon be a shortage of such sinful confections in my house, which means it is time to bring out the big guns and make sure the much desired dessert train keeps making its stop at my place… All aboard!
What I wanted to discuss here are two desserts in particular; two desserts that have not seen the light of day since college. The reason for this lack of appearance you ask? Well the answer to this question is really two-part. The first reason or excuse if you will, is because in college I was living with five of my closest girlfriends, with an additional three not too far away, and having a dessert around always seemed to be the best way to keep everything on an even keel; no drama, just dessert. Back then, dessert was fulfilling more than just an impulsive sweet-toothed need- it had some real responsibility! Not only did it keep claws from coming out, it helped distract us from the “less- classy” tub of raw cookie dough we always seemed to have sitting in our freezer.
The second reason I decided to put away the eggs, milk and sugar oh so long ago was because skinny jeans became all the craze… Clearly, whatever Rachel Zoe wanna-be that had the urge to create such a torturous style pant was “not a dessert person”… Yes, I DID just quote my new favorite show, ‘New Girl’.
But, with skinny jeans and Valentine’s Day on the out, and with two new, awesome, and dessert loving rommies on the in, I will once again dust off my mixer and venture forward with sharing two of my most favorite desserts…. Wait for it… Warm bread pudding in a vanilla cream sauce and a creamy yet refreshing Italian panna cotta with berries…. I will save the Bananas Foster for another post. As always, your comments and questions are much appreciated! Enjoy!
~*~ Down-Home Vanilla Bread Pudding ~*~
- 4 ½ cups of egg or challah bread, cubed (I just buy a loaf and munch on the rest)
- 2 cups of half and half
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon nutmug or cinnamon
For the Vanilla Sauce
- ½ cup of butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions for the Bread Pudding:
Place the cubed bread in a large bowl. Next combine the half-and-half and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted. Pour over bread and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, brown sugar, eggs vanilla and nutmeg/cinnamon. Spoon into a greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until pudding is set in the center.
Directions for the Sauce:
Combine butter, sugar and whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until mixture comes to a full boil and thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla and spoon over warm bread pudding.
Makes about 8 servings
~*~ Giada’s Italian Berry Panna Cotta ~*~
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 1/3 cups honey
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 cups assorted fresh berries
Place the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Pour milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, honey, sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour into 6 wine glasses so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.
Spoon the berries atop the panna cotta and serve!
Why I love these recipes so much: I figured this answer was pretty self explanatory! 😉