Chocolate Bread Pudding

I’m not sure what it is about bread pudding, but let’s face it, it is one of the most comforting foods in the world. Growing up, I’m not sure that we ever had any bread pudding. I certainly have no memory of it if we did. It was, instead, something that I discovered while cooking on my own in college. Earlier this week, for my sister’s birthday, I made apricot jam and cream cheese stuffed, almond crusted french toast (say that five times fast!).  I had a whole loaf of leftover sour dough bread from our local bakery, which I had purchased for said toast, and I was all too happy  this week to let it go stale in my pantry, knowing that a bread pudding was not that far out of reach. I have made all different kinds of fabulous bread puddings over the years (Ina Garten’s croissant bread pudding served with a brandy butter sauce, for example, is unimaginably decadent) but I have never ventured to make a chocolate bread pudding. I have certainly seen them made over the years on various cooking shows and have always been intrigued by the idea, but never enough to bring my chocolate fantasies to fruition. As usual, when looking to make something for the first time, I scoured my cook books and the internet for recipes, searching for the one that seemed to have the most flavor. And who better to teach me the ways of decadent chocolate comfort food than Ms. Paula Deen herself. (I like to think of all of the people from the food network like my imaginary friends who live on TV!) I stumbled across her recipe and was sold instantly by her inclusion of a half a cup of coffee liqueur. Now, never being one to follow the rules, I, of course, did not make her recipe as written. Recipes are like road maps. You can follow them, and they will certainly get you to where you need to go, but it’s when you put them down that the real fun of the road trip adventure begins. In lieu of milk and heavy cream I used all half n half, since that is what I had on hand, and the two cups of sugar seemed a little extreme, so I decreased it to one cup of brown sugar, and one half cup of granulated sugar. I added a teaspoon or so of instant espresso powder to the batter, upped the vanilla a little bit, and excluded the almond extract. I started by adding the one fourth of a cup of cocoa powder, but found that after tasting it, that it still wasn’t at that level of chocolate punch that I was looking for so I added an additional forth of a cup for that rich chocolate flavor. I used grated dark chocolate instead of her semi sweet (’cause that’s how I roll), and right before baking I added a big handful of semi sweet chocolate morsels in among the bread cubes, so there would also be little pockets of chocolate. Right before pouring the batter over the bread cubes, it still seemed a little watery, so I decided to add an additional egg, just for good measure. I soaked the bread cubes in a large bowl for twenty minutes or so, stirring several times to ensure even saturation. I then divided the bread mixture among eight buttered ramekins (because I think individual desserts are always infinitely more charming, since, let’s face it, no one likes to share), and baked for about fifty minutes, or until just set. Never one to accept too much as ever being enough, I decided to further guild the lily by pouring some of my leftover salted vanilla caramel sauce over the top, and served it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, a dollop of freshly whipped cream, and a few dark chocolate shavings.  I love how the tops get nice and crusty in the oven, which adds a nice contrast to the tender, rich, chocolate custard underneath. The little kiss of cinnamon, espresso powder, vanilla, and coffee liqueur all work in unison to round out and amplify the chocolate flavor. And the salted caramel, well, how can that make anything taste worse. We are just getting our first taste of fall here in the northwest, and nothing says cozy quite as much as a nice warm dessert.  This bread pudding fits the bill nicely. Enjoy!

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Filed under Breads, Desserts

31 responses to “Chocolate Bread Pudding

  1. Love the analogy – recipe like a road map… You are so right. And, the recipe for the bread pudding sounds beyond decadent! So, I was right when I entered the giveaway that it was a vanilla caramel sauce. I wish I had the time to make desserts and the BMI to allow me to eat them!

  2. We love chocolate bread pudding… in fact, it is such a favorite of my husband’s that I never get the chance to branch out and try other recipes. 🙂 Our version uses a sprinkle of sugar over top to give it an almost bruleed effect as it bakes, but that caramel sauce looks divine!

    • Hi Julie!

      Wow. The sugar sprinkled top sounds amazing. Do you use raw turbinado sugar, or just regular granulated sugar? I like the contrast of textures in these kinds of desserts. A sugar crust sounds like it would add a whole other dimension of texture and flavor. Thanks for the tip!

      Thanks for stopping by! =)

  3. I knew your chocolate bread pudding was going to fabulous! I agree with you about the wonderful dessert.. its so comforting and so delicious!! I’m going to have to take a look at her recipe and try out your salted caramel sauce.

    • Hey Evan,

      Thanks =) I was just admiring the Tips and Tricks section on your blog this morning. What a great idea. And such great advice. And your oatmeal raisin scones look amazing!

      Thanks for stopping by! =)

  4. I just became a big fan of bread pudding myself. It really is very comforting and I love its versatility. You can really put almost anything you have at home in it and have a different bread pudding every time

    • Hey Sara,

      I know, right? I make it with all different kinds of bread, dried fruits, nuts, sauces, and it works really well with everything from almond milk to heavy cream (granted the consistency might be more luxurious toward the fattier end of that spectrum). So versatile and delicious. And great way to use your leftovers.

      Thanks for stopping by! =)

  5. I’ve only made bread pudding once before and it was Ina Garten’s croissant bread pudding. I made for the holidays last year and it was a big hit! Your chocolate bread pudding looks divine!

    • Hi Michelle!

      Isn’t that recipe amazing! It is really I think the best bread pudding I have ever had. I usually make a sauce for it using melted butter, brandy, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract. It sends it right (or I guess even further) over the top. This chocolate bread pudding had great flavor. Nice and moist, with a rich chocolate kick. Definitely worth a try.

      Thanks for stopping by! =)

  6. Lovely bread pudding. Love a good bread pudding, but using the chocolate takes it to the next level.

  7. Hi Jacob,

    will defintely try this for sure…looks so yummy…bookmarked…so much to do and very little time for me!!


  8. My husband loves bread pudding from his childhood memories, but this one will take him down a different road!

  9. whoa!
    Can’t wait to taste this!

  10. Gorgeous! I feel the exact same way about bread pudding… it’s one of life’s most comforting dishes 🙂

  11. Being a lover of New Orleans – bread pudding is one of my favorites! I’ve got a recipe for white chocolate bread pudding that I make every year for Mardi Gras. But, I think THIS February there is going to be a NEW bread pudding at the table. Your’s looks AMAZING! Of course, I’ll have to make it once or twice before February… just to be sure it’s good. (tee hee hee)

    Cheers, Cindy

  12. I love the caramel dripping off the side in that pic, makes it look all that much more enticing!

  13. b kinch

    Damn. That sounds SO good. I love bread pudding of all kinds. I’m a bitter little diabetic today, lol! Maybe I’ll make this for my kids soon, so at least I can enjoy the smell 🙂

  14. How have I never had bread pudding before!?! This looks delicious…especially that last picture, dripping over the sides. Yum. I know what recipe to start with when I finally get around to making bread pudding!

  15. I love chocolate bread pudding,
    It’s my favorite dessert!

  16. I LOVE chocolate bread pudding. Something about adding chocolate to an already awesome dessert just makes it even more amazing. Yours looks (and sounds) delicious!

  17. That is seriously good looking bread pudding. I have bookmarked this to make very soon – and the good thing about this is that, even though my partner loves chocolate he hates “chocolatey” desserts = get to eat this all by myself 🙂

  18. Wow! Great site! I’ll be back!

  19. Wow fabulous bread pudding! My family loves the stuff! Just recently prepared a one with strawberries.

  20. This looks incredible…I have never had chocolate bread pudding!

  21. Hello
    Just looking at the picture of your bread pudding just made my mouth watery! Keep up the good work by providing more interesting recipes.

  22. I saved this recipe to make for my husband; he loves bread pudding more than anyone I know, and he would for sure like this! Thanks!

  23. I always inspired by you, your opinion and way of thinking, again, appreciate for this nice post.

    – Norman

  24. frootie-maureen

    Gosh this looks so good – definitely a recipe I fancy to give a go, thank you 🙂 xxx

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