Beignets are those heavenly little powdered sugar-dusted fried puffs of doughnuts made famous in New Orleans. This version takes them to a truly gourmet level. They are perfect for a Mardi Gras breakfast or for any special holiday or birthday weekend treat. Pardon my drool… 🙂
The Author Says: “”Whenever I go to New Orleans, just a short distance from my parents’ home, I can’t leave without a visit to Cafe Du Monde for an order of beignets and a glass of chocolate milk. The beignets’ warm and crisp outer shell gives way to the soft, fluffy interior that is indescribably delicious. Since I can’t always make a trip to New Orleans whenever I have a craving for beignets, I decided to take one of my other favorite desserts, bread pudding, and create a hybrid dessert that would combine the crunchy, fried goodness with a creamy white chocolate center. Make sure you keep a few for yourself before you share them with family and friends, because these small bites of goodness won’t last long.” –Whitney Miller
White Chocolate Bread Pudding Beignets Recipe
6 cups 1-inch French bread cubes, crusts removed
9 Tablespoons half-and-half, divided use
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 Tablespoons pure cane sugar
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided use
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Powdered sugar for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Place half of the bread cubes in a zip-top plastic bag. Crush into crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a wide, shallow bowl. Set the remaining bread cubes and the bread crumbs aside.
Place 5 tablespoons of the half-and-half and the heavy cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes or until hot.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly add the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly.
In the same saucepan melt 2 ounces of white chocolate with the remaining 4 Tablespoons half-and-half over low heat, stirring occasionally. Gradually add to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla. Lightly press the bread cubes into the white chocolate mixture to soak. Let soak for 5 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Take 3 soaked bread cubes in your hand. Add a few pieces of the chopped white chocolate to the center. Form the bread around the chocolate and press together to form a ball. Roll in the bread crumbs and place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the soaked bread cubes and chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Fill a large saucepan halfway with oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fry the bread pudding balls for 3 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Transfer to the paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe Source: “Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table: My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist by Whitney Miller (Nelson Books)
Reprinted with express permission.