White chocolate bread pudding.

SLOW COOKED: White chocolate bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

 

Recipe: White-chocolate bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce

Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes, plus baking time (about 1 1/2 hours on high, 3 hours on low)

Servings: 8 to 10

Note: This recipe calls for finishing the bread pudding in the oven so the topping is lightly toasted and colored, as with oven-made bread pudding. If possible, cut the bread the night before making the pudding to allow the cubes to dry out.

For the bread pudding

2 cups heavy cream

1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups milk

2 eggs, beaten

3 egg yolks, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 loaf (1-pound) stale French or Italian bread cubes, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups toasted pecans

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. When the cream comes to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, whisking until the chips dissolve. Whisk the sugar into the mixture, then the milk, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla to form a custard base.

2. Add the bread to the bowl, gently stirring to coat the cubes with the custard base. Set the mixture aside to allow the bread to soak, about 45 minutes, tossing every several minutes so the cubes completely and evenly soak in the custard base.

3. Toss the pecans into the soaked bread mixture, then pour the mixture into a greased slow cooker insert. Cover the insert and place it in the slow cooker. Set the cooker to high heat and cook just until the custard is set in the center, about 1 1/2 hours (the time will vary depending on your model and type), or about 3 hours over low heat. The pudding is done when the custard is set in the center. Turn off the slow cooker, uncover and remove the insert.

4. While the custard is cooking, heat the oven to 400 degrees.