Valentine’s Day sometimes presents a challenge for couples: Should we go out for a romantic dinner or make a cozy meal for two at home? For those of you staying in for Valentine’s Day and need a swoon-worthy dessert idea, Nick Ambeliotis of Mediterra Bakehouse offers a decadent bread pudding recipe that’s guaranteed to please.
Ambeliotis devised the recipe for Phoenix City Grille. “I like to involve local chefs since I don’t have a café or a restaurant here,” he says. Mediterra Bakehouse is located in Coolidge.
The recipe can be made in a cake pan and cut into squares or you can make them in individual ramekins, Ambeliotis says. “It’s good for Valentine’s Day because people want chocolate. It’s very decadent.”
You can find Mediterra Bakehouse breads at AJ’s Fine Foods and Whole Foods.
Mediterra Bread Pudding
½ loaf Mediterra Bakehouse cranberry pecan loaf
½ loaf Mediterra Bakehouse chocolate cherry loaf
2 cups half & half
2 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract, pure
6 eggs, whole
½ cup sugar, granulated
½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
1. Cut bread into 1-inch pieces and place on a baking pan and toast in a 375-degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly crisp.
2. While the bread is toasting, place heavy cream, half & half, vanilla, salt, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
3. Pour toasted bread pieces into custard mixture and fold to incorporate. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. Spray a rectangular cake pan with pan release spray. Pour the soaked bread mixture into pan. Cover with foil and poke a few small holes in the cover. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 1 hour and 7 minutes.
5. Remove the foil wrap and let cool for 4 hours in the refrigerator.
6. Serve with salted caramel, whipped cream and fresh berries.