Roasted Pumpkin and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding (02) by MeetaK

I have often shared several of my childhood stories with you. Food that triggers memories of my grandparents, parents or close relations is something I often cherish. It makes preparing that particular dish all the more special. While stirring the dal or whisking batter for a special cake, I will find myself smiling at the memories of my mother or my grandmother.

The pictures are so vivid and it seems like I am almost transported to that time once again, watching myself from above. I can hear the voices, see the graphic details and most importantly, smell the wonderful aromas. Many of you know that food has always been a vital part for my family. For us it was not so much the eating it to fill ourselves but more a social and celebratory method of getting together.

At our dinner table we would discuss, loudly - everyone speaking at once if the topic was passionate enough, we would laugh and cheer, we would even argue. I think only Indians can do all that in one mealtime sitting. The dialogue was mostly in English with Hindi words dotted throughout the sentences, unless my grandmother was around, then we would speak more Hindi - because she never spoke to us in English.

Whether we were in Doha, San Francisco or in Delhi our mealtimes were always filled with joy, a lot of talk and plenty of bustle. When I first came to live in Germany, I was rather surprised how quiet things were here. I remember my first lunch at Tom's parents place! Everyone ate in silence - what torture. It was bad enough having the feeling that all eyes were on me, but not being able to escape into the comforts of a good debate or discussion was the worse.

Tom did confirm the fact that during their meal times, discussions were not as lively as what he had experienced when he met my parents. It's over 10 years now that I am a part of Tom's family and today meal times at the Wolff household are almost as loud and lively as the ones I remember with my parents and family. Here we do not talk all at once - one waits till the other one is finished, but the laughter is just as loud and the discussions can get very passionate.

I will frown at Tom when he tells Soeren to be quiet for a minute and finish what's on his plate - why? In my mind I want Soeren to talk and debate just as openly and laugh just as heartedly as I did when growing up. No one told me to be quiet. I learned so much at our meal times. My dad told us about his adventures from a recent trip, my mum discussed our problems. If we were on vacation with my grandparents, my grandfather would tell us stories about the Sikh religion, my nani would tell us about her childhood.

In the same way it is important to me that Soeren is not bound down but given wings to freely speak his mind. After all it is at mealtimes where we all sit down together, relaxed and free from the worries of the day. And I know if I do have worries it is at the dinner table where I can discuss it with my family over a comforting and delicious meal.

Yes - mealtimes with the family are sacred to me. It is the anticipation I feel while cooking, that soon we will get together and just be able to relax and talk.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding (01) by MeetaK

When the larger part of the family got together once or twice a year, my mother or nani always made one of 2 sweet dishes. It was either an Indian rice pudding, known as kheer, or a bread pudding. It was a kind of welcome comfort food. Where ever we would be getting together - be it in India or in the US, our family was flying in from all over the world. We from Doha, others from England, India or different parts of the US - one thing we were very certain about, upon arrival we would find bowls of comforting kheer or bread pudding.

As kids my brother, cousins and myself would make fun "I bet you it's kheer!" "10 bucks it's bread pudding!" Fun aside, we were just dying to dig in to whatever was prepared. Because it meant we were all together again!

Now as grownups it seems we're spread further apart from each other as before. We do see each other every now and then but the ritual has remained. In my own way I have taken over the ritual. Whenever we get home after a long journey or vacation I have to make rice pudding or bread pudding. Just so that my soul and spirit knows I am home.

This roasted pumpkin and chocolate bread pudding is one of Soeren's favorites. I use whole wheat challah or, if I have it, sourdough English muffins. Roasting the pumpkin really brings our the sweet mellow flavors, which works perfectly with the bittersweet chocolate.

Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients
Printable version of recipe here.

250 ml heavy cream
1 medium sized pumpkin, cut into medium sized pieces 
120 ml whole milk
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
100 g Muscovado sugar
100g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
85g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of salt
250 - 300 g whole wheat challah, cubed
Canola oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Brush a baking sheet with some oil and lay out the pumpkin pieces. Roast in the oven until soft, making sure the pumpkin does not get too dark.

  2. Purée the pumpkin until smooth.

  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, salt, eggs and egg yolk, and spices.

  4. In a separate bowl, toss the challah cubes with the butter, then pour in the pumpkin mixture. Mix to coat.

  5. Transfer the challah mixture to a square ovenproof baking dish (approx. 20.5 x 20.5cm). Sprinkle the coarsely chopped chocolate pieces, giving a gentle mix so that the pieces are evenly divided.

  6. Bake in the oven until set - about 25 - 30 minutes.

Serving Tips: I love this creamy bread pudding with maple walnuts ice-cream. Make your own if you want but Movenpick's Maple Walnuts is a decadent treat and tastes just d'lish!

 


Verdict

Pumpkin Bread Pudding (03) by MeetaK

That's right because it's ummmm so good! Comforting and it reminds me of all that it dear to me. The spices, chocolate and the pumpkin are at perfect harmony with each other. Soeren can never get enough of the bread pudding. He has also come to realize that a bread pudding simply means being finally home, where things are always OK!

"Childhood Delights" is the theme of this month's Sugar High Friday, being hosted over at Rachel's Vampituity and I am sharing my childhood delight with her!

Taking Jeanne's cue I am also sending this to this month's Waiter There's Something In My .... This month's theme is Sweet & Savory Swap!

You might like these delight from WFLH:

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Banana Brioche Pudding with Baileys Caramel Cream Chocolate Mountains Whole Wheat Pancakes with Nutella and Mangoes

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36 comments:

  1. pumpkin and chocolate.. hmm.. you sure think of innovative combos, don't you? :)

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  2. Great flavour combination. Sounds very comforting!

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  3. A great post! Thanks for sharing those memories with us...

    What a delightful pudding! Yummy!

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. WOw wat a delicious pudding, am just drooling over them..

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  5. Oh my goodness Meeta, beautiful!

    You're so right about family meal times - so important and special, even the simple or quick meals.

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  6. Yes, I perfectly understand what you mean :-)

    Love the combinatioin in the pudding :-)

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  7. I was trying to decide a sweet to make for my husband's birthday and this is perfect since he loves pumpkin sweets! It would be great if you shared your mom/nani's recipe for kheer too!

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  8. mmmm...that does look so awesome. pumpkin is so sweet and rich in flavour. it must be fantastic in bread pudding.

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  9. You will surprised Meeta. Greeks are just the same everyone speaking at once and loud :)
    The combination sounds great.

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  10. I love pumpkin and squashes in desserts too... Pumpkin and chocolate combo sounds delicious!

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  11. So beautifully written meeta...I can totally relate. brought tears in my eyes.

    Love all the combination in the pudding. & the verdict pic is cool:-)

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  12. What a wonderful insight into your family's dinner time dynamics Meeta! A great combination of pumpkin and chocolate that really says "comfort".

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  13. That looks scrumptious! I've never mastered the art of bread pudding; I always need a recipe, haven't really figured out how to improvise yet. So, thanks for the recipe!

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  14. Loved this post Meeta! I felt like I was sitting with you guys at the kitchen table sharing this!

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  15. Thank you everyone.

    Pumpkin and chocolate are a great combination and I am sure many of you will really enjoy this.

    Glad you are enjoying the post!
    Hugs!

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  16. lovely post, got to know a little more about you. love your naani. I can actually imagine how it must have been during mealtimes at your place. and very unusual combination of chocolate and pumpking really caught my attention.

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  17. Always love your treasured family/childhood stories - thank you so much for sharing!!

    That bread pudding is SOOOOO devilishly decadent-looking!! Perfect :-)

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  18. Very nice pudding and beautiful pictures!

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  19. Not a combination I've ever seen before but sounds like it would work. I love your original ideas!

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  20. This bread pudding is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.

    zesty

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  21. lol ... i can absolutely understand what you are saying about commotion at the dinner table. I come from a food obsessed family too, where till date my dad can kick my ass at cooking. I cant think of a quiet meal we all ate either at my place or fortunately my inlaws. If we are all together, we are bringin down the roof ! Its what makes the meals more special n fun and something to look forward to :)

    the pud looks yummm !

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  22. This sounds like a great change from the normal bread pudding. Will have to try it.

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  23. These are the best kinds of posts - those fuilled with memories! Love the pudding dear Meeta!

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  24. Meeta, thank you for the delightful peek into your family dinner. Now I know what to make with some of my extra brioche dough that is in my freezer.

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  25. Totally lovely post. As close as teleporting as there is.
    Gorgeous flavors in this!

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  26. Enjoyed reading your story thoroughly. And I can fathom what you mean with the quiteness one experiences when one comes to Germany. It does feel strange and awkward in the beginning. But then everything has its positives ans negatives and haven't I said it before, we are privileged to aquire the best of both worlds.

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  27. I love family meals too. That's something I'm so grateful my parents made sure to give us kids growing up. Without family in close proximity these days, I may have to round up a group of friends and serve this bread pudding. It looks delicious!

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  28. LOL! I am glad to see that some of you also enjoy the same happy and joyous rituals at your homes. Life would be kind of empty. Hope this recipe will add some more excitement!

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  29. Pumkin in bread pudding?? Now that's a nes one to me! Why don't you submit it to this month's Waiter There's Something in My... It would fit the theme perfectly!

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  30. That is one nice looking bread pudding!

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  31. two of my favorite flavors - pumpkin and chocolate. what a great dessert!

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  32. This lokks so appetizing, Meeta! what a lovely combination! I will make this tomorrow!

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  33. Thank you, Meet!!! I made this and absolutely loved it!! I posted it on my blog too with a recipe that converted the metric measurements to American. http://straightfromthefarm.net/2009/02/10/roasted-pumpkin-and-dark-chocolate-bread-pudding-recipe/

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  34. great you are all liking the combo in this!

    Jennie: yours looks equally d'lish! glad you liked it!

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  35. Thank you for this inspiring recipe! I have tried it myself during pumpkin season. I just struggled with the suitable amount of pumpkin(medium sized pumpkin?). Maybe you could post an example in grams if you prepare this desert for the next time. Thank you very much in advance! Have a good spring time!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta