Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Chocolate + bread + custard = delightful chocolate bread pudding
nce again, here is an old favorite. I've been pulling the standbys out a bit more often lately... this one I made for our family visit a couple of weeks ago, especially for my dad.
A real regular from back in the catering/personal cheffing days, I would whip this one up frequently for my weekly meal deliveries--occasionally I'd mix it up and make it with white chocolate and berries, other times with Nutella mixed in with the chocolate. The standard custard proportions are quite forgiving if you want to experiment a bit.
A few years ago I made it as stated below for my dad--straight up chocolate--and it is now his favorite dessert of mine. In fact, I think he's asked for this dish for his last meal ever, so if we can be fortunate to know exactly when that is (35 or 40 years from now, of course!), I will be sure to whip him up a batch.
And, like many recipes from my catering days, this one is from epicurious. One of 10 listed on the site, and in my humble opinion, the best. The ratio of custard to bread to chocolate is just right for me... as long as you don't overcook it. Make sure there's still a wee bit of jiggle in the middle when you pull it out of the oven; that way it will be soft and delicious when dished warm with a bit of ice cream. Heaven!
Chocolate Bread Pudding
6 cups 1-inch cubes crustless French bread (from about 3/4 of a 1-pound loaf of French bread)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
Butter an 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Place bread cubes in large bowl; drizzle with butter and toss to coat. Transfer bread to prepared dish. Bring milk and cream just to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk sugar and yolks in medium bowl to blend. Whisk chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Pour custard over bread. Cover with plastic and let stand 1 hour (some custard will not be absorbed). (Can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead. Refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pudding until just set but center moves slightly when dish is shaken, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.
This one is not husband's favorite (something about bread is good as bread, pudding is good as pudding, but together not so much), so I need visitors to cook this for... so come on back, Pa!