I have visions of my mother and my aunts in the kitchen, hoisting Jamie on their shoulders– hero-style– when he pulls this bourbon, chocolate, cream cheese goodness out of the oven.
Because every Southern woman I know has a not-so-secret crush on two things:
- Proper cheesecake (baked in a water bath, mind you)
- Bread pudding with whiskey sauce.
If you’re daring and cheffy and combine the two desserts like Jamie, well… the ladies have probably conspired to buy and then stuff a 70-inch flat-screen tv into his stocking as his Christmas surprise. The rest of us will be have to make do with oranges picked from the bush in the front yard.
This is take-no-prisoners holiday decadence. This is what you hide the ring in. This is what you make his family Christmas night to win their hearts forever. This is what you devour when you’re wearing your new pajama jeans that “give,” allowing you to chuck all previous thoughts of moderation and calorie counting.
Just like you should never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t sip, don’t consider trying an ol’ bourbon. Jamie swears by Maker’s Mark and so that should be good enough for you. After the holidays, write and tell us your Bourbon Chocolate Cheesecake Bread Pudding stories- we know there will be some!
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2.5 cups milk
- ½ cup bourbon*
- 6 cups stale bread, cut into cubes
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- *Jamie is a die-hard Maker's Mark fan. He might be disappointed in you if you decided to use a different bourbon.
- Combine the cream cheese, sugars and salt in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Add the vanilla; then the milk, one cup at a time.
- Stir in the bourbon and bread and leave the mixture to soak 30 minutes.
- Spoon ½ of the bread and custard mixture into a 13x9 baking dish and scatter half of the chocolate chips over the top. Add the remaining bread and custard and chocolate chips.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 325˚ until puffed and firm in the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool 20 minutes before serving.