Nope, it’s a chocolate bread pudding I made for dessert a few days ago. I first made this recipe while Jeremy was away at school, and though I am not a fan of soggy bread, I actually really liked it. There was a partial loaf of honey wheat sandwich bread going stale in the fridge, and rather than turning it into more bread crumbs for the freezer, I took the opportunity to use it up in bread pudding, cut into cubes of probably around 3/4″. Rather than straight whipping cream, I used what I had on hand, which was about 1/2 cup of whipping cream and 1 1/2 cups of whole milk, and it came out perfectly.
I especially like the crisp sugar topping on this bread pudding, almost second cousin to a brulee, and the fact that it tastes equally good hot from the oven or cold from the fridge. A dollop of whipped cream is a nice garnish, but not strictly necessary. Just have a glass of milk handy, because it’s pretty rich.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
1 C whipping cream
1/2 C plus 2 T sugar
1 C whole milk
1 1/4 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces sturdy bread with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 C)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Bring cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk egg and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Cool chocolate custard 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add bread cubes and remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips to custard and toss to coat. Transfer to 1 1/2-quart-capacity shallow oval baking dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over mixture. Bake until custard thickens and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Source: Slightly adapted from Epicurious.
Update 6/9/10: I’ve now made this recipe with everything from mostly cream as written to mostly milk, and it works either way. I’ve decided half and half is a good compromise, so I’ve adjusted the recipe that way, and it’s so chocolatey that I leave out the extra chocolate chips half the time and never miss them. This time I used 2 1/2 leftover homemade hamburger buns to make the pudding, and they were a perfect match. Jeremy requested it, and ate about half the small dish in one sitting, so I may have to start doubling this and put it in a larger casserole, so we’ll have more leftover for later.
Update 7/13/10: Jeremy has been begging for bread pudding for days, so I finally made some with a loaf of whole wheat focaccia (no toppings!) that didn’t turn out great for just eating. I had no cream, so I used whole milk and stirred 2 T of butter into the custard before pouring it over the bread cubes. Delicious as always, and we didn’t notice any differences in flavor or texture.