Crème Anglaise

Crème Anglaise is a versatile custard sauce that can be used to enhance many desserts.  One of my favorite uses is with bread pudding but it is also delicious with apple pie in place of the ubiquitous  vanilla ice cream.


½ cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
2 or 3 tablespoons sugar
½ a vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Slit vanilla bean and scrape out seeds.
Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat until mixture simmers.  Add vanilla seeds
Beat egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until combined.
Slowly add hot milk mixture stirring constantly.
Return mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring until mixture barely simmers, about 170º to 175º.
Strain mixture into a clean bowl set in a bowl of ice and water and stir until custard is cool.
Cover and refrigerate.
Sauce will keep refrigerated for 2 days.

Crème Anglaise
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Panettone Bread Pudding

Panettone is a rich, eggy bread with raisins, citron and citrus peel usually found at the holidays.  It originated in Milan but is now found all over Europe as well as the U.S.
While it is delicious as is or toasted for breakfast, it makes a wonderful bread pudding.  It can be a simple dessert or you can fancy it up by adding some crème anglaise  You can make it truly elegant by adding a bruleé topping and serving it with an individual sauce boat of the crème anglaise.  Because both the pudding and the sauce can be made ahead, it's a perfect dessert to prepare for company.

Panettone Bread Pudding

½ lb. panettone, cubed
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Butter a 9 x 6 baking dish and add panettone cubes.
Whisk eggs and sugar, add remaining ingredients and whsk to combine.
Pour over bread cubes and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes, pressing down on bread cubes a few times.
  You may cover the dish and refrigerate overnight if you so desire.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake pudding for about 45 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned.
Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with crème anglaise.

Pudding will keep in refrigerator for 2 days.
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Dinner Party Menu-Part 5-Dessert Chocolate Amaretti Torte (Chocolate cake)

This is a cake I developed many years ago for a friend whose father imported chocolate and cocoa from Holland.  It is quite chocolatey and rich with an interesting texture.  It doesn't require frosting but a dollop of whipped cream goes very well - and a few raspberries don't hurt either!

The cake keeps, covered, very well for a few days and also freezes well.

You will get 12 - 16 servings from this cake.  If you are serving a smaller group, divide the mixture into 2 7" cake pans.  Enjoy one cake now and freeze the second.

  1. Grease a 10" cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease again.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º.
  3. Dissolve coffee powder in Amaretto.
  4. Beat sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating just until incorporated into mixture.  Beat in coffee mixture, cocoa, almonds and Amaretti crumbs.  
  6. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff but not dry.
  7. Mix in ¼ of the egg whites into chocolate mixture then fold in remaining whites with a large rubber spatula.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  9. Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes.  Invert onto a cooling rack, peel off parchment paper and invert onto another rack to cool completely.
  10. Transfer to serving dish and dust with powdered sugar.
NOTE:  If you don't have Amaretto liqueur, substitute ¼ cup water with 1 teaspoon almond extract.

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