Well, that certainly didn’t last long.
Yep, I’m (half-) sorry to report that my post-holiday plan to eat more modestly was scuttled the other day, when this chocolate bread pudding popped out of my oven.
I had really good excuses for baking up this dessert, like:
- When the temperature dips down to teeth-chattering levels, my drafty apartment feels best when the oven is on.
- A half a loaf of bread was going stale.
- Half of a carton of heavy cream was ready to be used, or else.
- Ditto for a carton of whole milk.
Something had to be done. And when you think about it, making this dessert was a virtuous act — using up all these ingredients in such an efficient way. Is it my fault that it was also ridiculously decadent?
Before sharing the recipe, I should note that bread pudding has only recently made its way into my repertoire. It never really spoke to me, probably because it has a tendency to get mushy; however, any doubts I had are now a mere memory. This bread pudding, with a healthy sprinkling of raw sugar, makes the top all sparkly and crunchy–a nice counterpoint to all that chocolate-custard-y goodness lurking underneath.
And did I mention it has tendency to disappear on you?
Consider yourself warned.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2003, by way of Epicurious
1 c whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (or semisweet, depending on your desired level of intensity)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups bread with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used stale Zingerman’s farm bread — French bread would be great too)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bring cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
Add 1 cup chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth.
Whisk egg and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Cool chocolate custard 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add bread cubes and remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips to custard and toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes or so.
Transfer to 1 1/2-quart-capacity shallow oval baking dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over mixture. Bake until custard thickens and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Try to keep yourself from picking at the crusty, sparkly bits with your fingers. Save some for your significant other, children, friends, and you will earn their devotion many times over.