I have never been a big fan of bread pudding. I don’t know if it is a texture issue or a flavor issue. I have had bread pudding that have had both of those such problems. Sometimes it seems like the bread pudding tastes like an egg casserole, or in one case, at a restaurant that is no longer open, it tasted like lobster. Yes, lobster. I think convenience plays a big part in my bread pudding lack of interest. I never have enough bread on hand to make proper bread pudding. When I come across recipes of bread pudding, I usually turn the page and never give it another thought. Well, that was before this one.
Something happened this week that made me give bread pudding a second thought. I found a recipe that gave me pause and the next day someone gave me a loaf of leftover bread and I had everything in my inventory to make the recipe. So I had a recipe that intrigued me, a loaf of bread, and all the ingredients. The stars had aligned. It was time to give bread pudding another shot.
I have a secret. I have been in love with Jamie Oliver, well let’s just say…. FOREVER! I have almost all of his cookbooks and I have watched all of his shows. I have another secret. I have never made anything in any of his cookbooks ( I have eight of them). Jamie’s cookbooks are beautiful, well written and fun to read. He is fun to watch and he makes things seem so easy. The bread pudding recipe that is gracing this blog post is his. Finally. I found the recipe in “Jamie’s America”, a book he created to pay homage to the United States. Jamie traveled the country and fell in love with all of the different regions of cooking and made the recipes his own. “Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce” came from the Louisiana chapter.
The original recipe is called “Bread Pudding with Chocolate Beer sauce”. Beer was the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand, so I omitted it. I used an Italian style loaf of bread that had been sitting around for a few days. I also substituted chopped, toasted, slivered almonds instead of pecans. Other than that the recipe was pretty straight forward.
Also…… it was delicious! The chocolate flavor was absolutely intense. The nuts gave it a good crunch and the texture wasn’t soggy or eggie at all. The white sauce you see in the picture isn’t a fancy addition. It is melted vanilla ice cream! Please give this a try!
Bread Pudding and Chocolate Sauce
For the pudding:
1 x 28 ounce loaf of white bread, ends removed and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups reduced-fat milk
1 4 ounce good quality chocolate bar (dark)
A small handful of pecans, roughly chopped ( I used almonds)
For the original sauce recipe:
1/2 cup brown ale (I omitted this)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 4 ounce good quality chocolate bar
My sauce recipe:
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces of dark chocolate morsels
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cocoa powder, and sugar and whisk until smooth.
3. Slowly add in the cream and the milk.
4. Soak each slice of bread in the custard mixture for at least 30 seconds, or until the bread has soaked up the liquid. Arrange bread slices in a 9x13 baking dish. Continue until all the bread is gone.
5. Pour the remaining custard over the bread.
6. Jamie has a special way to chop the chocolate bar. Leave it in it’s wrapper and whack it against the edge of the counter a few times. This will leave you with different sizes of chocolate. Take these chocolate chunks and layer them in between the bread slices. When the bread pudding bakes, the chocolate chunks will create pools of chocolate.
7. Scatter the nuts over the bread pudding.
8. Sprinkle sugar over the bread pudding.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pudding is set and golden brown. It should be a little wobbly.
10. While the bread pudding is baking, make your sauce. I didn’t have another chocolate bar so I used dark chocolate chips. I chopped them and placed them in a bowl. I heated my cream just until before it boiled. Please be careful with this as to not scald the cream. Pour the cream over the chocolate bits and stir until well combined.
10a. To make the beer chocolate sauce: Combine the cream, beer, and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring it almost to a boil. Chop your chocolate bar like before and pour over the cream mixture. Stir until well combined.
11. Serve the bread pudding warm, with the chocolate sauce. For an added bonus, melt some vanilla ice cream and drizzle that over the pudding as well. Yum!