White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Raspberry Truffles
For the pudding-
5 cups chopped day-old (but not stale) croissants or white bread
1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean (slice bean lengthwise and scrape)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Combine all ingredients and let soak at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 holes of a muffin pan and fill with the bread pudding mixture. Set a pan of water on the lowest oven shelf and bake pudding on middle oven shelf for 20 minutes or just until the centers bounce back when touched. Use a spatula to unmold. Cover to keep warm.
For the vanilla sauce-
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean (slice bean lengthwise and scrape)
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
Place the milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, and 3/4 cup of the sugar into a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat to just before the boiling point (when bubbles for around the edges of the pan). Remove from heat and set aside. Place egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl, mix until well-blended, and add to milk mixture. Return to medium heat for about 1 1/2 minutes; do not let boil. Set aside.
For the truffles-
1 pint raspberry sorbet
3/4 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup almond slices
2 1/2 cups chopped white chocolate
Using the large end of a melon baller, scoop raspberry sorbet into 18 1-inch balls and freeze overnight. Spread coconut and almonds onto separate ungreased baking sheets and toast at 350 degrees, stirring at least twice, until golden brown (3 to 5 minutes for the almonds; 4 to 8 minutes for the coconut). Mix the toasted coconut and almonds together and set aside. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler and stir until smooth.
Dip frozen sorbet balls into melted chocolate and roll in the coconut-almond mix. (You can use a skewer or a small fork for this step.) Return to freezer immediately.
27 fresh raspberries
9 fresh mint leaves
9 praline or other light cookies
Pour 1/4 cup vanilla sauce into the center of each of 9 plates; top with a bread pudding; add two truffles, three raspberries, a mint leaf, and a cookie. Serve.