As if that’s not enough, it is served with a creme anglaise – a sauce that tastes like melted ice cream.
Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise
Bread Pudding is one of those desserts people just don’t make very often anymore, since carbs have been deemed the devil and all… So of course I’ve decided to make it, put 3 different kinds of chocolate in it and cover it with a sauce that tastes like melted ice cream.
I figure this is the perfect indulgence after a month of Lenten sacrifice. It would make a great dessert anytime, quite honestly. It is one of the easiest desserts to make because it requires very little effort and it does not demand hours of babysitting to ensure perfection. Thank you Very Much…
For this bread pudding, I prefer brioche (brioche is a buttery, eggy bread) but if you can’t find it use challah bread. If you are lucky enough to live near a good bakery, ask them for the “eggiest” bread they have if they don’t bake brioche.
There really isn’t much to it: cut up some old bread, mix it up with a few other ingredients, let it soak for a bit while you get on with other things and then put it in the oven to bake. I mean really, what else can you ask for in a dessert?
Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding
Now, the sauce does require a bit more effort, but if you’re not into that day, skip it. The bread pudding is good enough to stand on its own, however I won’t lie… the addition of the sauce transforms this to ethereal goodness. This is one of those desserts you make once or twice a year. It is not exactly diet food, so I wouldn’t recommend eating this very often, but boy is it worth it when you do.
How to make bread pudding
One Sunday, when I was working at the restaurant in the wee early hours, I had a craving for something sweet. It is essentially a Cardinal Sin in restaurants to make something for yourself and no one else, so I knew if I was going to bake something, it had to be enough to share with the class. Thankfully, I found a loaf of brioche that was on its way out and I knew it was destined to become bread pudding.
Cubing the bread up the day before is best, but if you didn’t plan ahead (usually me!), dry it out in the oven for a bit before soaking it. Then simply make your custard, toss everything together and let it soak for about an hour, or longer if patience is your thing, and bake. It really is that easy. This is a great recipe for beginning bakers, as it is very forgiving. The sauce may be a little more complicated, but it is by no means a difficult recipe.
FOR THE BREAD PUDDING
- 2 lbs brioche bread
- 1 stick butter
- 3 cups half & half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp coarse brown sugar
FOR THE CREME ANGLAISE
- 1 cup half & half
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
To Make the Bread Pudding
- Cube bread into 1 inch pieces.
- Melt butter and pour over bread. Toss to evenly coat bread with the melted butter.
- Add chocolate chips and toss to combine.
- Pour into a large, deep baking dish.
- (a half size disposable aluminum pan is perfect)
- Whisk together the rest of the ingredients (except the coarse brown sugar).
- Pour over the bread and press down to ensure that every piece of bread gets immersed.
- Let it soak for about 45 minutes, then sprinkle the coarse brown sugar on top.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- The bread pudding should be set, but not dry.
- Let it stand for about 20 minutes before cutting.
To Make the Creme Anglaise
- First, get a medium sized fine mesh strainer and set it over a medium bowl.
- Place this inside of a larger bowl filled with ice water. The sauce will be poured through the strainer and into the chilled bowl to stop it from cooking once it has reached the proper consistency.
- In a medium saucepan- combine the milk, half & half and the vanilla bean. Cook over low to medium heat just until it barely comes to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
- In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks just until combined.
- Whisk in about a half cup of the hot milk mixture very slowly in a thin stream. This is called "tempering" the eggs so they don't scramble when you add them back into the hot milk.
- Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- The sauce should be thick enough that when you dip a spoon into it & run your finger down the back of the spoon it will stay separated. (see pic in post)
- Immediately strain the sauce into the bowl over the ice water.
- Pour the warm creme anglaise over the bread pudding. Refrigerate any leftover sauce in an airtight container.