Let the Good Times Roll
This upcoming weekend we’re celebrating two of my favorite holidays all at one time. What do you do when the love and romance of Valentine’s day converges into the decadent folly of Mardi Gras? I answer by making raspberry-spiked dark chocolate bread pudding, of course!
The Food of Love
It’s no secret that chocolate is the way to Cupid’s heart, after all, dark chocolate is believed to possess a number of hearty-healthy benefits. And, distinctively Southern bread pudding is the classic dessert of my hometown, New Orleans, rich as the beloved traditions of the city itself. So to me, it makes perfectly great sense to combine these two favorites into one unforgettable dessert.
Better Bread Pudding
Simply stated, bread pudding is just stale crusty bread that has been soaked in a sweet milky egg bath, baked and served warm, smothered in a thick and often boozy sauce. But when you combine all that creamy flavor with the irresistible allure of dark chocolate and raspberries, you get one decadent dessert that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. For the ultimate decadence, use whole milk or cream, after all that’s what you get if you order bread pudding at any given restaurant. But I like to keep things light, so I use light wheat bread and skim milk. Believe me, there’s so much warm chocolate oozing out of every bite that you won’t miss that pesky fat one bit. Win over your sweetheart and make this a Valentine’s to remember with this show-stopping bread pudding that you won’t soon forget!
Suggested Wine Pairings
Contrary to popular belief, red wine and chocolate is not a classic pairing. In most cases, the sweetness of chocolate desserts would accentuate the tannins in the wine causing an undesirably bitter effect. This decadent bread pudding, which isn’t overly sweet, calls for a slightly less rich wine to enhance the nuances in the dark chocolate and spice. Try a refreshing Moscato d’Asti or a delightfully sparkling Brachetto, like Banfi’s Rosa Regale. If you prefer full-bodied wines, look for an easy-drinking late bottled vintage Port to compliment and enhance the raspberry flavors in the bread pudding.