One of my favorite flavor combinations; white chocolate and almond pair so well together. You can substitute chocolate and pecans or any flavors you like with this custard. The key to decadent bread pudding is to make sure the bread is suspended in the custard and to bake it in a covered water bath so that it helps keep the pudding moist.
WHITE CHOCOLATE ALMOND BREAD PUDDING
8 eggs, beaten
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
4 cups heavy cream
1 ½ pounds bread cubed and lightly toasted
1 cup (8 ounces) white chocolate, chopped
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon Amaretto or almond extract
1tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups sliced toasted almonds
For the custard: Mix all together except the almonds. Push the cubed bread down into the mixture. It should be light on bread, heavy on custard. Let it sit as long as possible before you bake; even overnight is okay. Before baking, pull a piece of the bread apart to see if it is soaked through.
To Assemble: Use heatproof ramekins. The bread should be suspended in the custard, not dry. Start with a layer of nuts on the bottom. Using your hand, pick up the bread from the custard and add that next. Continue to layer the nuts and bread and pour custard over the top, filling about ¾ full.
To bake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Use a water bath to cook the puddings so they don’t dry out. Fill a pitcher with warm water. Put the ramekins in pan with high sides. Fill the pan ½ full with the warm water but take care not to get water into the ramekins.
Cover the pan with 3 layers of plastic wrap. Don’t use foil. You need to be able to see the ramekins. If you lift it, you will remove the steam. Bake at 300 for 30-35 minutes.
Serve warm. Pour over some heavy cream flavored with a bit of Amaretto if you want or shave some white chocolate over the top. Delicious.