Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe
Make It Gourmet With Valrhona Chocolate
This luxurious dessert, from San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, is made with a great chocolate, Valrhona’s Grand Cru Manjari Dark chocolate.
This 64% cacao chocolate from one of the world’s great chocolate houses is a blend of Criollo and Trinitario cacao beans from Madagascar. The chocolate has a highly aromatic bouquet with intense red berry flavors and a nice, acidic backbone.
While you can use any premium dark chocolate in this recipe, Michael, who has every chocolate as his disposal, highly recommends the Manjari for this recipe. But substitute any chocolate in the 60% to 65% cacao range. (Learn more about Valrhona chocolate.)
- 1-½ cups Valrhona Manjari chocolate, coarsely chopped*
- 6 cups day-old bread, lightly toasted and cut into 1-inch cubes
(use a country loaf, Ciabatta, or French baguette)
- 4 teaspoon butter, melted
- 7 extra-large eggs
- 5 extra-large egg yolk
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ ounce brandy
- 3-½ cups whole milk
- 2-½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped,
- Crème fraîche (for garnish—make your
own with this recipe—or substitute whipped cream)
- Burnt Caramel Sauce† (for garnish—here’s Michael’s recipe)
* Manjari is sold in 2.6-ounce chocolate bars for eating, and also in larger formats for baking. You will need 7 to 8 ounces of chocolate, or three bars, for this recipe. If you decide to make more of this recipe, you can save money by purchasing the Manjari in professional formats.
† You can purchase Recchiuti’s Burnt Caramel Sauce, make your own or purchase another top brand. See also our review of The King’s Cupboard caramel sauces.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Gently toss bread cubes and chocolate in melted butter and place in 2-quart ceramic or glass baking dish. Set aside.
- Combine eggs through brandy and whisk together until incorporated. Set aside.
- Heat milk, cream and vanilla bean until scalding. Remove vanilla bean from the mixture.
- Pour about a quarter of the hot mixture into the egg mixture and gently stir to temper. Add remaining hot mixture and stir until combined. Pour the hot mixture over bread and chocolate.
- Bake in water bath for 20-30 minutes, being careful not to over-bake. The finished pudding will feel firm to the touch and a knife will come out clean.
- Spoon warm pudding into bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche and a drizzle of Burnt Caramel Sauce.