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Bread Pudding

Chopped champ Lance Nitahara shares his mother’s bread pudding recipe.

Lance Nitahara's bread pudding

This delicious treat is fragrant with cinnamon and vanilla bean.


12 oz. butter 3 c. sugar
2 ½ loaves crusty French baguette 9 whole eggs
6 c. heavy cream Pinch kosher salt
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cinnamon, to taste


1. Cut butter into walnut-sized cubes. Bring butter and eggs to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

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2. Slice baguettes into 1/2-inch slices and lay them in a baking pan, closely packed. Repeat in two more layers.

3. In a large pot, combine heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract). Heat slowly over medium heat for about three minutes, or until mixture reaches 110°F. Turn off heat.

4. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until very smooth, about five minutes.

5. Crack eggs into separate bowl. With mixer on medium, add eggs one at a time, allowing each to fully emulsify before adding next. Scrape down bowl and run mixer for another 15 seconds.

6. Remove vanilla bean pods from cream. While running mixer on medium (use whisk attachment if you have one), slowly and steadily add cream until fully incorporated. Add pinch of salt and mix to combine.

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7. Pour custard over bread until all slices are covered. Grate a liberal amount of cinnamon on top. Cover and allow custard to soak into bread for a minimum of 45 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When custard has fully soaked into bread, cover with foil and place pan into a slightly larger pan. Carefully fill larger pan halfway with boiling water.

9. Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more, until brown and bubbly.

Serves 20.

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 510; Fat: 43g; Cholesterol: 240mg; Sodium: 200mg; Total Carbohydrates: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugars: 22g; Protein: 9g.

Don’t miss Lance’s inspiring story about how he came to be the winner on the Food Network show, Chopped.


Download your FREE ebook, The Power of Hope: 7 Inspirational Stories of People Rediscovering Faith, Hope and Love.

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