Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Cardamon Sauce

This is a variation of the bread pudding I posted last month.  Note that I suggest that you make sure the vanilla ice cream you use does not contain high fructose corn syrup.  If you want to totally understand why you should try to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup, view the clip at the bottom of my blog for a thorough and scientific explanation.  Warning:  it takes about an hour to view the whole thing, but it is fascinating and easy for a non-scientist to understand.

Serves 10-12

5 cups cubed stale bread (use good quality bread)
3 cups milk
8 TBS (1 stick) melted unsalted butter
½ lb. dark chocolate pieces (use the best quality chocolate you can find)
½ cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp instant espresso dissolved in 2 TBS boiling water
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
about 1 TBS butter for slow cooker, more if necessary

Vanilla Ice Cream (look on the ingredient list before buying:  try to buy ice cream that does not contain high fructose corn syrup, and look for real vanilla vs. artificial vanilla)
Cardamon Seeds (about 20 pods, but this is not a science)

Melt butter and chocolate together for 1-2 minutes in the microwave, stirring until smooth.  Soak bread in milk for about a half hour, pressing bread into the milk during that time so that all the bread becomes wet.  (At first, there won’t be enough milk, but after the wet bread becomes soft, and you press it, more of the bread will be able to absorb the milk.)  Pour butter and chocolate over soaked bread and stir.  Add sugar, eggs, espresso, vanilla and sea salt and stir to combine.  Butter slow cooker.  Pour mixture into slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Melt a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl in the microwave (cook on high for 1-2 minutes).  Stir until smooth.  Cardamon seeds come in pods.  Take the black seeds out of several pods (press a knife blade on pods and they will crack so that you can easily open them and extract the seeds) and crush with a mortar and pestle.  Pour into melted vanilla ice cream and stir.  Serve the resulting sauce over portions of warm chocolate bread pudding.

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