How do I convince you to make this other than post a trillion pictures and describe how incredibly delicious this is?
Maybe I can start by telling you I almost DIDN’T make this because I had zero faith it would turn out, considering that’s usually what happens when I try to bake. I had a somewhat bad experience making Overnight French Toast and assumed the bread pudding would turn out the same. BOY WAS I WRONG.
I should probably give myself a little credit because I did do a week’s worth of research in determining the type of bread to use, the amount of eggs, whether or not to use the whole egg or just the yolks, yada yada. I was most intrigued by America’s Test Kitchen’s method and recipe so I decided to use that as my base with my own little twists.
Before I get into this, I first want to talk about the bread which is the most essential ingredient in bread pudding. Imagine that. When I was first developing the recipe, I wanted to use sliced French bread and stack the bread in my baking dish like bricks. After a little reading on ATK, I realized breads like French and Italian are not the way to go. They often have holes visible when slicing that just won’t support a custard. The exterior is hard opposed to the soft insides, which although delicious, it won’t absorb the custard consistently. Sandwich bread is the weakest of the weak, practically falling apart after soaking in the heavy custard for more than a minute. The most ideal bread to use is Challah, an eggy sweet bread often found braided.
I cut mine into cubes and tossed it in the oven for a few minutes to dry it out. If you’re planning this recipe more than a day ahead, you can lay out your cubes to dry overnight. The other essential ingredient in this is the custard. It’s nothing more than your basics: eggs, cream, sugar, and a little flavoring. I read that using whole eggs can leave an eggy taste in the pudding, so I decided to use only yolks. Since I want to make this chocolate, I added a generous amount of cocoa powder and a dash or two of cinnamon. Mhm. The dried bread cubes are then thrown into a buttered baking dish. I tossed the bread with some chocolate chips before adding in the chocolatey custard which ultimately had more chocolate chips sprinkled on top. Don’t think the chocolate stops there.
Just before the bread pudding came out of the oven I whipped up the most dangerous chocolate sauce ever. Promise me when you’re reading the recipe and your arteries go into hiding you’ll forgive me and come back for more.
Everything you want in bread pudding is in this plus some. You get a bite of the rich creaminess from the bottom of the dish combined with the crunchy top, chocolate chips half melted, and the most KILLER chocolate sauce to top it off. The only thing I’m missing after a plate of this is my waistline. Enjoy and happy valentine’s to all you love birds out there.
- 1 loaf Challah bread - cut into cubes
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 2 1/2 c. milk
- 2 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 9 egg yolks
- 3 t. vanilla
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 t. kosher salt
- 3 T. cocoa powder
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 2 T. butter
- 1/4 c. chocolate chips
- 2 T. creme de cocoa or chocolate liquor
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Add the cubed bread on a baking sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes or until dried out.
- Reserve 1 cup of bread cubes for topping and transfer the rest to a buttered baking dish. Toss in half of the chocolate chips.
- In a large bowl combine the milk, cream, and eggs until mixed. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Pour over the bread and allow to sit for 30 minutes, pressing down with a spatula every 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 325. Add the reserved bread cubes and press into custard. Sprinkle over remaining chocolate chips. Bake 50 minutes or until custard has set. Top with chocolate sauce, below.
- Melt the sugar and cream in a small sauce pan. Stir in the butter and chocolate chips until melted. Stir in the chocolate liquor and allow to heat for 3 minutes. Serve warm - enjoy!