Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
Delicious after dinner, but truth be known, we have eaten it for breakfast too. Always the first to be eaten on a buffet table.
It's not the pretties dessert, but it sure is perfect on a cold winter night. To make it more festive, cut it into squares and add a dollop of whipped cream, a fresh raspberry and a mint leaf. It is one of our family favorites and since so many of you have asked for the recipe, here it is. TUSCAN BREAD PUDDING. And it means this Christmas is just right around the corner.
Buon Natale e buon appetito,
Carmela Tursi Hobbins
TUSCAN BREAD PUDDING WITH AMARETTO SAUCE
1 pannetone or other fruit-studded sweet bread (about 1 pound) cut into one inch slices
1 quart of half and half
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Amaretto Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on 2 baking sheets and toast 2 inches from the heat source for about 1 minute per side, or until lightly golden brown. Set aside for 1 hours. An alternative is to cut the bread into 1 and 1/2 inch cubes and spread the cubes out on a cookie sheet over-night uncovered so that they dry out.
Tear the toasted panettone into cubes and place in a large bowl. Pour the half and half over the bread, making sure all the pieces are moistened. Set aside for one hour until the liquid has been absorbed.
Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9x12x2 inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until blended. Stir in the soaked bread with any remaining liquid. Transfer the mixture to a the prepared baking dish and bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, or until the pudding is set and the top is golden brown. Let cool to room temperature. (the pudding can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and set aside.
When ready to serve, preheat the broiler. Just before serving spoon the Amaretto Sauce over the pudding and broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat until bubbly and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Cut the bread pudding into 12 pieces and serve immediately.
*Panettone, is an Italian sweet bread, usually served at Christmas. You can find it at most grocery and specialty shops, even Costco, Sam's and Target will carry them. Quality varies.*
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup of confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons Amaretto
2 egg yolks
In a medium bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water or on the top of a double boiler, melt the butter. Slowly whisk in the sugar until the mixture is creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the Amaretto and then the egg yolks one at a time, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking until the sauce reaches 160 degrees, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate. (This sauce can be made a day in advance.) Let return to room temperature before using.
*This sauce is also nice on ice cream or over pound cake.*
****After you are done licking your bowl clean, write to me and let me know what you think about this awesome dessert.*****