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Hazelnut polenta bread pudding

Hazelnut polenta bread pudding
Los Angeles Times

THESE days, when just about any topic can provoke a debate, you can add bread pudding to the list. How is that possible, you might wonder, with something so homey and comforting and, well, inert? Blame it on the chefs. ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes plus 1 hour soaking time | Serves 6

Creme anglaise

  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Step 1Halve the vanilla bean and scrape into the cream. Steep for 15 minutes, then heat the cream just until it begins to simmer.

Step 2Combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until smooth. Add a little of the hot cream to the yolk mixture, then add the yolk mixture to the pan of cream. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until thickened; do not let the mixture boil.

Step 3Press through a very fine-mesh sieve to strain. Cool.

Belgian chocolate sauce

  • 5 ounces Belgian dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Step 1Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in a pan over another pan of simmering water.

Step 2Heat the cream until just simmering, then add to the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Serve warm.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Frangelico liqueur
  • 1 cup soft cooked polenta, cooled slightly
  • 1 small baguette, crust removed, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • Creme anglaise
  • Belgian chocolate sauce

Step 1Whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, honey and Frangelico. Whisk in the polenta. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Set aside to soak for 1 hour.

Step 2Spoon the mixture into 6 (8-ounce) ramekins. Place in a pan of hot water that reaches halfway up sides of the ramekins. Bake at 325 degrees until set, about 1 hour.

Step 3Place a spoonful of creme anglaise on each of 6 plates. Turn the puddings out of the ramekins and place each on the creme anglaise. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each pudding so it drips down the sides.

Note: From Christian de la Vara, chef de cuisine at Traxx.


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