Last week, a friend and I went to what is arguably the best bread place in NY. It’s called The Kneaded Bread and is located in Port Chester in Westchester County. For years, I’ve been buying their provolone bread which is loaded with chunks of provolone cheese and is absolutely delish! This time, I bought their chocolate bread and a couple of brioche rolls, brought them home and put them in the breadbox.
The other day I came home and saw a bag on the kitchen counter and lo and behold, it was the bread I had put in there days before that Fisherman had spotted in his search for some munchies. By now, they were a little stale (but that didn’t stop him from eating the roll) and I almost threw them away but then realized it would make a great bread pudding.
I’m a huge coconut fan, and almost always have some coconut milk and coconut laying around so I decided to put a spin on traditional bread pudding and got to work making this yummy, rich dessert.
1 loaf chocolate bread, cut into cubes
4 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
2 (13 1/2 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 (13 1/2 ounce) can cream of coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 freshly grated nutmet
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
1/4 cup pecans
Butter a 9″ square pan. Place the bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, cream of coconut, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup of the coconut flakes. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes making sure all the cubes are covered. Let the mixture stand for 1 hour, covered, in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Sprinkle the top of the pudding with the remaining 1/2 cup coconut flakes, cover with foil and then poke the foil a few times to release some steam while cooking. Place dish in a roasting pan on the oven rack and then pour hot water into the roasting pan about halfway up the sides. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, remove foil and sprinkle with pecans and continue baking uncovered for 15 minutes more. At this point, if you like your top to be extra crispy and browned, place the pan under the broiler for about 1 minute.
I like eating this while still warm from the oven, but technically you should cool it completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
This is a very rich dessert that needs little or no toppings, but if you like you could use whipped cream, whiskey sauce or a simple chocolate sauce for added punch.