bourbon baking bling

hello all.  i'm about to hop on a plane for the holidays, after spending several days tromping around the city, trying to buy thoughtful gifts and be nice to everyone i see.  at the moment it's feeling right to be NICE. so i'd like to be nice to you and share a recipe i first posted about at sarah's sparkly joint, rhinestones and telephones. i hope you enjoy it, and if you do cook it up, share it with someone you love!   

did you know i bake?  or, much to ruggy's dismay, i used to bake before sewing took over in the extra curricular activities department.  i made key lime pies with eight inch high meringues, flourless chocolate tortes with glass ganaches, triple layer guinness cakes that could knock a horse over.  now i've got one standby that meets three important requirements:

1. it can be made quickly.
2. it makes the house smell delicious.
3. it has alcohol.

i adapted this recipe from emeril's chocolate bread pudding, and the ingredients (down to the brand name) are important for its success.  don't sleep on the thai kitchen full fat coconut milk!   i will allow room for alcoholic improvisation, as the inclusion of alchohol on hand is more important than the exclusion of alcohol.  you're welcome.

the brand names are also important if you are, like moi, apprehensive of the hormone wrecker that is soy.  me no likey the soy. and chocolate, bread, even eggs have gone the path of Soy World Domination in the form of lecithin and stabilizers and fillers... i tell you what, i downright loathe that crap.  long and tested story short, bumpy hormones make bumpy holidays. so the ingredients below have been checked and approved, but you can bet your ass i read that label every time i buy even a trusted brand.

that is your public service announcement for the day.

1 tsp unsalted butter (president)
4 large eggs (pete & gerry's heirloom bleu are wonderful)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (sunspire)
1/2 cup bourbon (knob creek.  lightweights can use grand marnier.)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (thai kitchen)
8 slices organic white bread (the supremely healthy kind that looks like it would be cardboard in your mouth. trust me.)

so, you've got your nasty looking organic hippy crunchy white bread. take eight slices out and leave them on the counter while you do the rest of the prepping.  that ever-so-wholesome perservative free bread will be stale in a matter of minutes!  huzzah for the hippies!  if your bread is nice and fluffy and edible right out of the package, you lose, and you must leave it out to sit on the counter for a couple hours to a whole day.  EEK.

next, melt ONE cup of the chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of the coconut milk over low heat, stirring constantly, and set aside to cool while you measure out the next ingredients.  listen you, don't go telling me that'll take too long. step away from the microwave, yo, it takes all of sixty seconds to melt this on the stove.  I SAID BACK OFF.

whisk together your eggs, sugar, spices, vanilla, and bourbon in a large bowl.  try to mimic the excellent wrist work of sarah jessica parker in The Family Stone (a most wonderful holiday movie, we watch it every year, sometimes twice).  pretend for a moment that you are SJP, wearing a foofy tutu and skyscraper stilettos. it makes the kitchen time go by ever so much more quickly. (having a good slug of that knob creek doesn't hurt either.)  next, add the rest of the coconut milk (1 cup) and the melted chocolate, mixing till it's looking smooth and happy.  then take your magically stale organic bread and cut it into 1/2 inch cubes, removing the crusts. and the bread cubes to the wet mixture and let it sit for 30 minutes.

during this li'l bit of marinating time, i like to clean up the area while sipping on a bit more of that knob creek, contemplating the gorgeous teeny all clad saucepan ruggy got me years ago.  it's my favorite part of a whole set, he had the bottoms etched with the maze at chartres!  ah, ruggy.

if you don't happen to have such a pan to ponder, you can preheat the oven to 350, and get the loaf pan ready, greasing it with that exquisite president butter.  now, and this is very important: at this point you need something to soak up the bourbon you've been sampling. throw a slab of that butter on a piece of that discarded crust. MERDE THEM FRENCH COWS MAKE GOOD BUTTER!

it's time to finish that puddin'.  pour half of your mixture into the buttered loaf pan, and sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of chocolate chips over the top.  eat a few if you must, then pour the rest of the bread mixture over the top. later, when you serve this, you are going to have a molten chocolate center in that baby.  oh yes. yes, my friends.


and that's about it.  let it cool for a mo before cutting, or you can premake and reheat for 15 minutes at 300 degrees.  best to keep it in the fridge, if you don't finish it all in one night.  extra points for dressing up in your evening gown while devouring.


  1. Oh Oona. How is it possible that I could love you anymore than I already do? You had me at "alcohol" then you had me again at "hormones".

    Have a safe and happy Christmas my friend. May your days be jazzy and your tinsel especially sparkly. xx

    1. ooh, jazzy sparkly tinsel, yes please! and the same to you, lovely lady :)

  2. *drool* oh, this sounds amazing! baking/cooking was my obsession before sewing took over. my kids still insist upon my homemade bread and (smartly) refuse the store bought "bread." i just may try this with the brandy or rum we have on hand... merry christmas!

    1. merry merry to you! and brandy or rum will work just fine :)

  3. baking and sewing are the perfect combo of hobbies.. yummm

  4. how about I wear the wedding dress that I bought for $87, the flower crown one of my readers sent me, and some latex gloves (don't want to get the finger nails dirty) while I devour? Too add a touch to this picture, how about a vacuum stands next to me!?

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday! I'm headed to Florida tomorrow. Eighty degrees will NEVER feel so GOOD!

  5. I would for sure be wearing an evening gown while devouring this chocolate goodness! Have a great holiday trip!

    1. and you would get extra points for vintage tulle, no doubt :). happy merry!

  6. Yay! My friend runs the Pete and Gerry's egg farm. He will be glad for the shout-out.

    1. AAAAACCKK their eggs are the best!!!! we love those bleu so much!

  7. It's twenty past nine in the morning and this sounds like an excellent idea! It must be Christmas...?!
    Enjoy your festivities! :)

  8. OMG, I thought I was the only one in the world who freaked out about soy being in everything. Many a curse has been evoked in the grocery aisle, reading the ingredients on food labels. Chocolate is the worst. Why oh WHY must every freakin' chocolate maker put soy in the stuff???
    Anyway this bread pudding recipe looks soooo good. I'm going to print and post it in strategic places around the house as a hint for my Piemaker.
    Happy holidays and safe travels to you, dear Oona!

    1. it seems green & blacks has reversed the soy train. seriously, eventually there will be nothing left to eat without it!!

  9. I know exactly what you're talking about with the hippy bread going stale in between taking it out of the package and eating it! This bread pudding sounds scrumptious, and since my husband has also lamented the fact that I gave up baking for sewing, I suppose I could make it for him for Christmas...

  10. Oh this is perfect- it gives me an hour to let out waistbands before I eat it all myself before husband comes home. Excellent time management!


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!