Here in New England it seems like the weather went from blistering hot to perfectly Autumn in about 3 days. I wake up everyday ecstatic that I can wear a sweater, that it’s not too hot to knit (my hands get hot when I’m knitting with wool in 80 degrees), my windows are open and the air conditioners have been taken out. This is by far my favorite time of year for many reasons, it’s compounded by the fact that my husband was fortunate enough to receive 3 year orders to be here, meaning I get 3 beautiful Autumn seasons is this awesome place. It has become very apparent that I am a New Englander through and through.
While we were in Hawaii, there was a shortage on pumpkin. Since Hawaii drew the short end of the stick in regards to goods, there was no pumpkin to be found on the tiny island of O’ahu. This was basically a huge blow to my husbands fall food cravings since he’s a big pumpkin lover (a.k.a. Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater). I, on the other hand, could really go either way with pumpkin, it’s not my favorite, but if baked/cooked right, I’ll eat it.
Last week I acquired the new Baked:Elements cookbook. In usual OCD fashion, as soon as I opened the cookbook I started flagging recipes that I intended to make. Of course, there is an entire chapter on pumpkin (fitting seeing as Fall is now upon us).
The first recipe to grace my oven was the Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding. If I’m going to eat pumpkin, it better include chocolate. As I explained the recipe to my husband, basically this is a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread baked in a pumpkin pie custard. The boys at Baked spared no calories in this recipe, which means that really, this is perfect if you’re looking to change up Thanksgiving (yes, we’re already thinking about Thanksgiving food).
The guys at Baked have done it again. They have turned me on to an ingredient that I sort of like, and made me love it. While it is VERY rich, adding a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream balanced the sweetness. I’m serious, if you’re looking to get away from the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, this is your recipe.
Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Baked:Elements
Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 oz dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a standard loaf pan.
Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger together in a bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together the pumpkin and oil and mix together until it is no longer separated. Stir in the sugar and mix until incorporated. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Pour in 2/3 cup of tepid water and mix to combine.
Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated, do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate.
Bake for 65-85 minutes (mine baked for about 75 minutes or so), until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Once bread is completely cooled, cut it into 1 inch squares, put onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning once half way through. Let cool.
2 large eggs, plus 4 large yolks
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 cups half and half
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix all ingredients together (only 5 tablespoons of the butter, reserve the other 4) in a large bowl then add all but one cup of the bread and let it soak for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and butter a 9×13. Toss the reserved cup of bread cubes with the reserved 4 tablespoons of butter.
Empty the contents of the custard bowl into the 9×13 and sprinkle the buttered cubes on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until custard is set. Cool for 30 minutes and enjoy.