Chocolate Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding is a chocolate lover’s delight!

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped

3 cinnamon sticks, optional

1 lb. loaf brioche or white bread with crusts removed

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

8 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 8 oz. container creme fraiche or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place cream, milk, vanilla bean and seed scrapings, cinnamon sticks if using, in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.

Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes to infuse flavors.

Cut the brioche into 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut the slices into quarters, setting aside the rounded top pieces.

Fill a 9 x 13 inch glass baking pan with quartered bread pieces.

Return the milk mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and discard the vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks.

Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour the hot chocolate mixture very slowly into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly until fully combined.

Bring a kettle filled with water to a boil.

Slowly pour half the chocolate custard over bread, making sure all bread is soaked through.

Arrange the reserved bread on top in a decorative pattern and press firmly so the bottom layer of bread absorbs the chocolate mixture.

Spoon remaining custard over the bread until completely covered and all cracks are filled.

Place plastic wrap over the dish, press down to soak the bread thoroughly.

Remove plastic wrap, wipe the edges of the dish with a damp cloth, allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Place the baking dish in a roasting pan, transfer to oven.

Fill the roasting pan with boiling water halfway of sides of glass baking dish.

Bake about 35 minutes or until set.

Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk creme fraiche until soft peaks form.

Serve pudding warm, garnished with creme fraiche.

Serves 8-10


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