It's not just because I bake bread and desserts for a restaurant that I find myself making a lot of bread pudding. It's because right now there is no dessert I'd rather eat than bread pudding.
I go through phases like this- flan for awhile, then chocolate pudding, then rice pudding and now bread pudding. (Notice any trends in my dessert obsessions? Apparently I don't like to chew.)
I first made this recipe for Masters Week because one of the caterings we did was for a company that actually brought their own chef. I'm not sure how that situation worked, but this chef was named Nick Stellino. One night the dinner entertainment for the clients was a cooking demo by Mr. Stellino, and he requested a specific dessert be served- his Bread Pudding with Two Chocolates. And it was my job to make it.
I was nervous about how it would turn out with our iffy oven, but I followed his recipe and the bread pudding turned out to be DIVINE. So divine that instead of bringing leftovers back to the restaurant, the servers and cooks ate the rest of it on site. I've made it for the restaurant several times since.
It's dense, moist and chocolatey (as all good things in this world are.) If you want to go nuts on your guests, make additional of the chocolate sauce required for the recipe and serve the pudding in a pool of chocolate sauce. With strawberries or raspberries.
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place heavy cream, chocolate and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on low until cream bubbles and chocolate starts to melt. Remove from heat and whisk until all melted and smooth. Whisk in corn syrup, salt and vanilla.
Bread Pudding with Two Chocolates:
Chocolate Sauce (recipe above)
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 cups day-old bread, cut into 2-in pieces
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup white chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a deep baking dish or individual ramekins.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar with a whisk or electric mixer until it forms a thick yellow custard. Add the milk, cream and vanilla and beat for several minutes more.
Add the bread to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well. Press down the bread often to make sure it's absorbing as much of the liquid as possible. Add the chocolate sauce, white chocolate and dark chocolate and stir so that the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Let the pudding rest at room temperature for 15 minutes, then place in the oven, reducing the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for 35-40 minutes. It's done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Beware of hitting a dark chocolate spot and thinking it's not done when it is. If you're using small containers, the bake time will be shorter.
MMM!! Serve hot or at room temperature with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, shaved chocolate, fruit- whatever suits your fancy. This dessert would go great after an italian meal that has lots of fresh basil and rustic bread. Preferably served outdoors under bistro lights or lanterns. With wine. (Or maybe milk.) Okay, now I need to have a party.