Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Caramelized Bread Pudding with Cinnamon and Chocolate

Oh my gosh! So many people are getting married this summer! I'm estimating that we will attend at least 6 weddings this spring/'s starting to remind me of the summer after college when all my friends tied the knot. I spent all my savings on gifts and bridesmaid dresses that summer.

Don't get me wrong, weddings are a blast and I'm so excited for all of our almost-married friends, but your boss starts looking at you funny when you tell him you'll need another weekend off for - "Let me guess, Mikaela. A wedding." Yup.

And that's not even the craziness thing that's happening...even crazier is that the first round of friends to get married? The ones from the summer after college? They're starting to have BABIES. Mind-blowing. BABIES. Inconceivable.

We want kids, lots of them even, but as we always say...just not right now. Sorry mom.

That said, I'll tell you what we do want right now, what marrieds and singles and parents and children all want right this very minute, even if they don't know it: We all want BREAD PUDDING.

Specifically we all want this bread pudding, and that is because it has a very high custard-to-bread ratio. Nothing is more disappointing than dry, clunky bread pudding, but I'll give you the secrets to bread pudding nirvana:

1. Chocolate layer on the bottom.
2. Only one layer of bread, smothered with butter.
3. A veritable waterfall of custard.
4. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.
5. And...wait for it...a caramelized top. That's right. You brulee the top before serving. Could this get any better? No! I attest it could not.

This layered bread pudding is a FANTASTIC respite from the dense bread puddings that seem to have been made from pureed bread.

The recipe is adapted from Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques, phenomenal cookbook filled with recipes for entire meals organized by season. Every recipe is pure gold.

There's also a helpful video of Suzanna Goin making this bread pudding at Martha Stewart's website.

Caramelized Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Cinnamon

2 T unsalted butter, softened
5 slices brioche or white bread, crusts removed
3 egg yolks
3 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped or chips
plus about a tablespoon of sugar for the caramelizing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish with the chocolate.

Butter one side of each slice of the bread, cut it into quarters, and layer on top of the chocolate. The edges of the pieces should overlap a bit, but there should be only one layer of bread.

Whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the brown sugar, then whisk in the cream, whole milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour the custard over the bread slices, and use your fingers to push down on the bread slightly to make sure it's not dry anywhere.

Place the bread pudding baking dish into a roasting pan and into the oven. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water so the water comes half way up the side of the bread pudding dish. This will help it cook evenly and keep the custard smooth.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until the bread is slightly puffed up and the custard is set. Let cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the top of the bread pudding with sugar and caramelize with a torch or under the boiler. If using the boiler, watch it carefully so it doesn't burn and the custard doesn't curdle.

Scoop out of the pan with a large spoon to serve, making sure you get all of the yummy chocolate on the bottom.

Mmmm, enjoy. Seriously, this is so good I want some right now...I know what I'll be making at the restaurant tomorrow!


  1. sounds delicious - I usually make my bread pudding with a vanilla sauce - will have to try the chocolate!