Chocolate Bread Pudding

Photo by Daniel H.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

8

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

8

servings

Ingredients

  • 2

    cups heavy cream

  • 2

    cups milk

  • 1

    whole vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds

  • scraped

  • 3

    cinnamon sticks (optional)

  • 1

    loaf brioche (about 1 pound, or you may substitute

  • white bread)

  • 8

    large egg yolks

  • 1/4

    cup sugar

  • 2

    oz Valrhona or other bittersweet chocolate, roughly

  • chopped, plus 1/2 oz or 1/4 cupshavings for garnish

  • 1

    container (8 oz) créme fraîche

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 325°. Place the cream, milk, vanilla seeds and pod, and cinnamon sticks, if using, in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse flavors. 2. Cut the frioche into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cute slices into quarters, setting aside the rounded top pieces. Fill a 9-by-12-inch gratin dish or a deep oval roasting dish (a nine-by-thirteen-inch glass baking dish may be used in place of a gratin dish) with the quartered pieces. 3. Return the milk mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and discard vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks. Add chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Pour chocolate mixture very slowly into egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until fully combined. 4. Slowly pour half the chocolate custard over bread, making sure all the bread is soaked. Arrange the reserved bread on top in a decorative pattern, and press firmly so bottom layer of bread absorbs chocolate mixture. Spoon remaining custard over bread until completely covered and all cracks are filled. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dish; press down to soak bread thoroughly. Remove plastic, wipe edges of the dish with a damp towel, and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Place gratin dish in a larger pan; fill outer pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the gratin dish. Bake until set, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. 5. Whisk the créme fraîche until soft peaks form. Serve pudding warm, garnished with créme fraîche and chocolate shavings.

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