I will start out by saying that I am not a bread pudding lover in general, and neither is my husband. However, I have been wanting to make this recipe for a few months now, ever since we went out to dinner and a friend ordered some sort of chocolate butter bread pudding for dessert. It was so delicious and I realized how decadent bread pudding could be. I actually bought bread shortly after that dinner to make this bread pudding, but I never got around to it.
So I was super excited when I saw that this recipe was picked. I have to say that it did not compare to the bread pudding, but it was pretty damn good.
It was also very easy. I bought a loaf of raisin challah, cubed it, and staled it in the oven. Then I made the custard, which was a cinch. Just heat some milk and cream (I added a vanilla bean as well) until it comes just to a boil, then temper it into a mixture of eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Then add your chopped chocolate. The only annoying thing, which is not part of the recipe, is that I strained this mixture about 3 times. You definitely don’t want lumpy or grain custard, so I strain strain strain.
I halved this recipe and made the puddings in individual ramekins. I did this solely to limit the amount of bread pudding that ended up in my mouth. I have learned from this food blogging thing that I lack self control with food, especially when it comes to desserts, so I have to limit how much I make and what I keep in the house. Due to my lack of self control, husbands coworkers have a steady supply of baked goods every week.
Even though I had raisin challah, I also added some tart sweetened cherries to the mix. I love the combination of tart cherries and sweet chocolate, and I think they really brightened up the end result. This time I kind of scattered and stuffed them among the bread cubes. For some reason though, most of them ended up at the bottom of the ramekins. I think next time, and there will be a next time, I would chop the cherries and mix in into the custard before pouring it into the baking dish. I think that may help more evenly distribute them.
While they were soaking, I began to worry that I did not have enough bread in the ramekins, so I just started stuffing extra bread cubes in until I could not fit anymore. I don’t know if this ended up making the pudding too dense, but I wanted bread pudding, not chocolate custard with bread cubes.
Here they are ready for their water bath:
I think I may have over baked these a bit, but overall, this was successful and hubby and I really liked it. I think next time I would use more chocolate and/or a darker chocolate. It would also absolutely be even better with some creme anglaise smothered all over it, but I did not allow myself that indulgence this time.