Yup, we gone and did it. We started talking about Valentine's Day well in advance of the holiday. We are officially hyping. Now, I'm not really a Valentine's Day girl. If you've ever wandered the lonely streets of New York City on a cold February evening, date-less and bitter (that was never me…I mean, I always had a date on Valentines's when I was single, clearly), you'd have less than a little enthusiasm for this holiday. Even after I married the best Valentine's ever, I still wasn't in to the idea of celebrating. Then my daughter came around and, suddenly, I was doing annoyingly adorable things like making heart-shaped pancakes (see last year's post) and cutting out paper confetti hearts. However, I've got to admit. I'd rather eat my liver than deal with those Garfield class valentine's (did I just date myself?).
Before the hype here starts, it has to start at home. In other words, we've been road testing chocolate dishes since the Christmas tree needles started shedding all over my living room. We actually found the recipe one evening when we hunkered down to watch an episode of our favorite show Chef At Home with Michael Smith. He did this wildly rich double chocolate bread pudding using dark chocolate along with chocolate milk and chocolate liquor. It looked like total chocolate overload (in that deliciously over-the-top good way!), and Scarlett insisted we make it. Once we did, we couldn't stop eating it. We also couldn't stop making it so it seemed a good candidate for our love week post. I couldn't help but keep changing it–easing off some of the chocolate and allowing for my latest fixation of coconut. (I stole a Mounds bar from Scarlett's Halloween loot a few months ago and it reminded me of how much I love coconut and chocolate together. It's been downhill ever since.)
I still haven't decided if I'm done with evolving this recipe to suit my cravings. I'm convinced I can do a version with peanut butter. Right?! Can't you see it? Maybe that will be next year's Valentine's post? Obviously, we start talking about it on New Year's day.
Photos by Maya Visnyei
Chocolate and Coconut Bread Pudding
1 loaf day-old challah bread, cubed
1 400 ml can light coconut milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, cut into slivers
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
whipped cream (optional)
Grease six to eight (depending on their size) ramekins and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400.
In a saucepan, place coconut milk, milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract and whisk until heated. You don't need to bring it to a boil, it just needs to be warm enough to melt your chocolate slivers.
Put chocolate slivers in a large mixing bowl. Pour milk and sugar mixture over and whisk until chocolate slivers are melted and smooth.Whisk in the eggs. Add the bread cubes and gently mix allowing to bread to soak up the chocolate liquid. Mix in the chocolate chips and coconut.
Spoon into ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven on the middle rack until firm, about 45 to 50 minutes. Watch these babies as you don't want their tops to burn or bake toolong and dry out.
Remove from the oven and cool ramekins. Serve with whipped cream.