About 9 years ago, I came across this recipe for White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce in Family Circle magazine. Though complicated, I decided to test it out on my girlfriends at a party just for them. Decadently delicious, it was an instant hit and I’ve been making it ever since!
Before I share the recipe, I’ll share a little “back story”. The first time I made White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce, my girlfriend, Kathy, asked me for the recipe. So, I gave her a photocopy from the magazine. Kathy has graced the pages of this blog twice: Back to Square One (one of the posts in the series, Any Way the Wind Blows, about the loss of our home in the wildfire) and most recently, Kathy’s 16-Layer Lasagna in the Teach Me to Cook Series.
Anyway, when our house burned to the ground in the 2007 San Diego County wildfire, know as the Witch Fire, all of my recipes were lost, including this one. Unbeknownst to me, my sweet, thoughtful, wonderful niece and blogging partner, Tiffany, reached out to our family and friends, asking them for copies of favorite recipes; most specifically, recipes they had that I had made for them! She surprised me by making me a wonderful recipe book and Kathy contributed the White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce recipe.
Now, this is significant (at least to me!) because this recipe doesn’t appear to be anywhere on the web! If you find it, let me know; but I’ve never been able to find it! So, having Kathy ask for a copy of that recipe on that fateful day is a stroke of luck, Kismet, the universe aligning, whatever, because I may not have been able to recreate it on my own without much trial and error!
This recipe is complicated – many moving parts: the bread, the custard, baking in a water bath, and the rum sauce. But, it is so worth it! The eggy richness of the bread soaked in the white chocolate-infused custard, baked to a golden brown perfection and topped with a rich and boozy sauce – my, oh my – perfection with each mouthful!
Over time, I’ve made small changes to the original recipe. One of those changes is that the original recipe called for 10 ounces of white chocolate chips. The smallest bag of white chocolate chips in my grocery store is 12 ounces. So, I just throw the whole batch in! The more chocolate, the better, as far as I’m concerned!
Here’s what you do:
One of the “secrets” of White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce is the bread. I believe the original recipe called for brioche. Well, I didn’t want to make brioche from scratch and couldn’t find in it my local grocery store, so substituted challah. The top photo above shows two loaves of challah: one round and one a braided loaf. It doesn’t matter what shape you choose because you are going to slice it into cubes!
However, if you want the same deliciously decadent dessert, I suggest that you don’t substitute challah with just any type of bread. It must be an egg-type bread, like challah. I did make it with egg bagels once, when I couldn’t find challah; although still delicious, it was too dense.
You’ll need 6 cups of cubed challah, which is about a half loaf. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until toasty. Reserve the rest of the challah by wrapping it in a plastic bag and freezing it for the next time you make White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce!
About half way through toasting the bread cubes, give the bread cubes a stir so that they toast evenly. I suggest you take the baking sheet out of the oven and stir the bread cubes with a long-handled spoon, rather than do what I did, which was to stir the bread cubes (with a long-handled spoon) while they were still in the oven! Here’s what happened when I did that: I stirred a few of the bread cubes right off of the tray into the oven! Because I had the oven door open, they fell in the oven door hinge area (photo #1). When I tried to get this little piece out, I burned my arm! When I closed the oven door, they fell all over my clean kitchen floor (photo #2)! I’m such a klutz!
Oh, photo #3 above is what the toasted challah bread cubes should look like!
Next, select and prepare your baking dishes. You need two pans: one that will nest inside the other. I used two glass baking pans: one 9″ x 13″ and the other 10″ x 15″ (top photo). Then, place a pat of butter in the smaller pan (bottom left photo) and butter it thoroughly on all interior sides and bottom (bottom right photo).
Next, prepare the eggs.
- You will need 8 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Reserve the egg whites for another use.
- I put the egg yolks in a glass bowl and the egg whites in a plastic bowl to store in the refrigerator.
- Whisk your 8 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs.
- The eggs should be well mixed and frothy.
Melt the white chocolate.
Measure 3 cups of heavy cream.
Pour into a saucepan and heat cream over medium-high heat until small bubbles form around the edge.
White chocolate chips.
Turn off heat, if using a gas stove or remove from heat, if using an electric stove. Add white chocolate chips and whisk to combine.
Continue whisking until white chocolate chips have melted and mixture is creamy. Set aside.
- Measure 1 one of milk.
- Add milk to a separate saucepan. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
- Whisk to combine.
- Heat the milk and sugar over medium-high heat until small bubbles form. Remove from heat.
Now it’s time to make the custard.
- Photo #1 above shows both saucepans: the one with the white chocolate/cream mixture and the one with the milk/sugar mixture.
- Slowly pour the milk/sugar mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
- Whisk constantly; you don’t want to curdle the eggs!
- Slowly add the white chocolate/cream mixture and whisk to combine.
- Custard all combined!
- My small saucepan has a pour spout, so I pour it back into the saucepan. If you don’t have a pot or a bowl with a pour spout, you might pour the mixture into an extra-large glass measuring cup. This is just to make the next step easier, but you can skip this step if you don’t have these tools.
Next, put the prepared bread cubes in the buttered 9″ x 13″ pan.
Heat water to a boil. I used my Oster Electric Kettle. You will be pouring water into the baking pan to make a water bath, so if you don’t have a kettle, again use an extra-large glass measuring cup with a pour spout.
Assemble all your components: the bread cubes in their prepared pan, a cookie sheet to support the baking pans, the prepared custard in the pot with a pour spout.
Get out a fine-mesh sieve with a long handle.
Carefully strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve onto the bread cubes.
This will eliminate any little pieces of chocolate that didn’t melt. Discard bits and pieces left behind in the fine mesh sieve.
Using the back of a spoon, push the bread cubes into the custard until all submerged.
Bread cubes soaking in the custard.
Cover 9″ x 13″ baking pan with foil.
Place 9″ x 13″ baking pan inside 10″ x 15″ baking pan and place both on a large cookie sheet for support.
Carefully pour boiling water into 10″ x 15″ baking pan (that you’ve already placed on a larger cookie sheet). Be careful not to pour water into the foil-covered custard.
Bake 50 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. After 50 minutes, carefully remove foil from custard.
I use long-handled tongs for removing the foil.
Return custard to the oven and bake 10 minutes more, until the top is brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven.
Place on cooling rack. I used my stove top (of course, the stove was not turned on!).
While the White Chocolate Bread Pudding is baking, prepare the Brown Butter Rum Sauce.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat swirling pan.
Continue cooking butter and swirling pan for about 2 minutes until butter is golden brown. Remove from heat.
Add 6 large egg yolks in a separate bowl.
Add 6 tablespoons sugar.
Whisk for several minutes.
Gradually whisk in browned butter.
- Sauce well combined.
Measure 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup milk.
Add to yet another saucepan and heat over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge.
Slowly add heated cream/milk mixture to egg/butter mixture, whisking constantly.
Pour mixture back into saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce coats the back of a spoon (about 3 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in rum.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
Here’s the recipe:
- 6 ounces Challah bread, cut into ½" cubes (about 6 cups)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 12 ounces premium white chocolate chips
- 8 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes, stirring once at the halfway mark so that bread toasts evenly.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- With butter, grease a 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Add cooled bread cubes and place 9" x 13" baking dish into a larger baking dish.
- Place both nested baking dishes onto a large cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and eggs until frothy.
- In a medium saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat until small bubbles form around edge.
- Remove pan from heat, whisk in white chocolate until melted and set aside.
- In a large saucepan or a kettle, bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk milk and sugar and heat over medium-high heat until small bubbles form.
- Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks, whisking constantly so that eggs don't curdle.
- Whisk cream/white chocolate mixture into milk/egg mixture.
- Strain prepared custard through a fine-mesh sieve over bread cubes.
- Gently press bread cubes into custard using a wooden spoon or spatula until all bread cubes are submerged into custard mixture.
- Cover bread pudding with aluminum foil.
- Slowly pour enough boiling water into larger pan (avoid pouring water into custard), until water comes halfway up the sides of the dish.
- Bake 50 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
- Using long-handled tongs, remove foil cover from bread pudding and return bread pudding to the oven.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more until top is brown and knife inserted in the center comes clean.
- Remove bread pudding from oven and allow to cool until warm.
- Serve with Brown Butter Rum Sauce.
- To make the Brown Butter Rum Sauce, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan.
- Continue swirling pan and cooking butter until golden brown (about 2 minutes).
- Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar several minutes until frothy.
- Gradually whisk in browned butter.
- In a saucepan, heat cream and milk over medium heat until bubbles form around edge.
- Slowly whisk hot cream mixture into egg mixture.
- Pour back into saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce coats the back of a spoon (about 3 minutes).
- Remove from heat; stir in rum.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a serving bowl.
- Serve warm with warm White Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Enjoy! My love to both Tiffany and Kathy for giving me the gift of this delicious recipe reborn from the ashes!
This recipe is featured on All Free Casserole Recipes’ site! Check it out: White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce.
(other dessert recipes)
- Banana Cream Cutie Pies
- Barefoot with Friends and Vanessa’s Pavlova
- Cake Batter 50/50 Bars
- Cake Batter Fudge Bars
- Cake Batter Chess Bars
- Cake Batter Oatmeal Walnut Bars
- Cake Batter Triple-Chocolate Caramel Bars
- Christmas Caramel Apples
- Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Chocolate-covered Strawberries
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Gail’s Potato Chip Cookies
- Peach Pineapple Dump Cake
- Potato Chip Cookies
- Rosa’s Caramel Flan
- Salted Maple Pecan Pie Bars from Pinch of Yum
- Strawberry Cake
- The Leprechaun Cake Wreck Caper