Tiramisu Bread Pudding and Cream Sauce

 

I grew up in New Orleans, and my brother was once the manager of Commander's Palace Restaurant (when Emeril Lagasse was chef, but that's another story). They made a dessert called bread pudding souffle with whiskey sauce that was, to me, the perfect bread pudding--satisfying as comfort food, but elegant, rich and beautiful. I wanted to use a different flavor profile, so I thought it would be interesting to use the flavors in tiramisu--rum, coffee and chocolate. New Orleans French bread is very light and fluffy with a thin crust. If you can get it, lucky you; if not Italian bread will work, but cut off the thickest parts of the crust.

What you will need

1 cup sugar, divided

4 eggs, separated

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder

1/2 cup very hot water

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 loaf day old light French or Italian bread, heavy crusts removed, cut into cubes (about 5 cups)

1 pinch salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1/4 cup dark rum

1/3 cup sugar

bittersweet chocolate, grated

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