There are some perks in leading the Slow Food Convivium on Cape Cod – one came in the form of homemade ricotta cheese. The plan of what to do with the ricotta occupied a good portion of my thoughts…… ricotta pie, ravioli, gnocchi, sweet or savory…….. I was hosting book group later in the week, and wanted to incorporate the goods into our meal. We just read Dog Man written by Martha Sherrill. Martha is a member of our book group, and we were all excited to have an opportunity to get the authors insight. The book is set in the snow country of Japan during WW II. Dog Man chronicles the life of Morie Sawataishi, an engineer who had a passion for preserving the almost extinct Akitas.
I decided to made a bread pudding for dessert and hedged my bets by preparing two; one plain and the other with chocolate. Hands down the best bread pudding I have ever made, and by far the chocolate won out on most accounts. Thought I would share the recipe.
Ricotta-Brioche Bread Pudding Recipe
1 1/4 pounds brioche (or Portuguese sweet bread) cut into cubes (about 9 cups), 4 large eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups ricotta cheese (drained in cheesecloth, if watery), 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 cups heavy cream, 2 cups milk (whole, 2% or 1%), 4 Tbs. butter (melted), 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and side of 9×13 inch baking dish (glass). In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, mix well. Add the ricotta cheese, vanilla, cream, milk, and melted butter. Mix until smooth. Stir the bread into the egg mixture and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top (optional) and bake in oven for about 50 to 60 minutes, until the pudding is very puffy and the corners are lightly toasted. The pudding should jiggle, but not be runny. Let rest for about 15 minutes (up to 2 hours) and then serve warm or at room temperature. If made in advance, refrigerate and then warm prior to serving.
POSTED BY: Mary DeBartolo – Slow Food Cape Cod Convivium Leader