It’s been a busy winter season at Chez Gekiuma. Lots of work, fanciful experiments, and food comas with interludes of play. Oh, and a few possessed electronics that shuffled off this mortal coil to be replaced by shinier and more inflationary proxies. So, thanks
dear hubby Santa and hope you enjoyed the cookies🙂
This bread pudding is so scrumptious I’ve had self-avowed chocolate haters (You know, the heffalumps of the gastronomic world?😉 ) come away from dessert literally licking their bowls while hungrily eyeing their companion’s dishware. I suspect that besides the rich bittersweet chocooooolate flavor the textural wonderland of velvety custard and crunchety sugared but not overly sweet topping make it as enjoyable as rolling around in a sea of puppies. Despite the fact that it’s the dessert equivalent of Sasquatch, something that can be made in under 40 minutes (?!), and is embarrassingly easy shouldn’t deter you from taking full credit for the decadent silky custard that tastes like semi-liquid chocolate truffles with crunchy yet supple bready bites. Okay, a lot of the accolades should go to Bon Appétit and the generous genius in New Orleans for sharing this recipe which for some indecipherable reason no longer graces their menu. I’ve made a few alterations to the original, swapping bittersweet for semisweet chocolate chips to up the decadent, truffle-y chocolate factor, added an extra teaspoon of vanilla for flavor and cut back on the bread to increase the velvety custard to bread ratio. And yes, the nutrition info below is an estimate for a single serving and about as much as one of my normal entrées but a couple servings a few times a year balances out all the kickboxing, cycling and hiking🙂
Seriously, whipping cream?
Yup. I’ve tried decreasing the fat content be using half and half and even whole milk but not only will you lose that smooth luscious texture of the custard but you’ll also get an unappetizing lumpy appearance. Since there’s just the one egg the dairy fat helps prevent the milk solids and egg proteins from creating a rubbery matrix.
1 3/4 c whipping cream
1/4 c milk (I use 1%)
1/2 c + 1 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c + 1/4 c bittersweet chocolate chips
3 c crusty rustic bread, in 1-inch cubes (I use baguette)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a small saucepan bring cream, milk, and 1/2 c sugar to a gentle simmer, stirring to ensure sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and stir in 1 c chocolate chips till mixture is well combined and smooth. Beat egg and vanilla together in a small bowl. Temper egg mixture by adding a tbsp of chocolate mixture and mix. Mix in another 1-2 tbsp of chocolate mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, till well combined and smooth. (This will allow the chocolate to mix with the egg without cooking it and making cacao scrambled eggs.) Pour egg-chocolate mixture into chocolate mixture and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl pour chocolate mixture over bread cubes and let soak for a few minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 c chocolate chips and pour into a 9-inch quiche dish or individual 4 to 6-oz ramekins–although I’ve never had this bubble over, I like to put everything on a rimmed cookie or baking sheet just in case. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 tbsp sugar. Bake till custard coats the back of a spoon dipped in between the bread cubes or the center jiggles when the edge of the dish is tapped ~20-30 minutes. With a 9-inch ceramic dish and convection it takes me 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.