Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TWD - Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding




That's right. Not just any chocolate bread pudding. Four star chocolate bread pudding. This week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection was chosen for us by Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle. I didn't make last week's recipe, 15 Minute Magic Chocolate Amaretti Torte, but this one seemed very fast and magical in its own way. I hurried to make it as I had whole milk and whipping cream left over from other baking. I looked for challah at my neighborhood grocery store, but there wasn't any so I settled for a sweet batard.

Fortunately, the P&Q was posted on the day I made this, so I benefitted from several of the comments. I learned the chocolate flavor wasn't very strong using 60% bittersweet and it was a bit custardy, so I used 70% and added a few extra cubes of bread after 15 minutes of soaking. Love the P&Q!! 


Dorie has you heat the milk, combine the sugar with the eggs and egg yolks, and then temper the egg mixture with some of the hot milk before slowly adding it while whisking like mad. Dorie, it goes without saying, is a MUCH better baker than I am. By a lot. So even though she doesn't need to, I always strain my custards. And I always have little egg bits in the strainer. This lovely chocolate bread pudding was no exception. And maybe it wouldn't have mattered, but I don't like microscopic scrambled egg bits to mar a transcendent chocolate experience.


I licked the spoon after putting the pan in the oven and it was deeply chocolate. I lurked by the oven door, checking its progress through the glass. The house smelled amazing while it was baking, which isn't a bad thing. One time I was looking at houses and one of the sellers had brownies baking during the open house. Multiple offers. I was one of them.

After 35 minutes, it tested done. I let it cool on a rack and waited impatiently for M. to come home from work. I rationalized that we would have salad for dinner so we could eat a lot of bread pudding for dessert. He sniffed it when he got home and was on board with my plan. 

When we dug into it, I felt like Dorie had mislead us a bit. This really isn't four star chocolate bread pudding. Fourteen star, forty star, maybe. Four stars aren't enough. I both regretted and was relieved that I made a half recipe of this. 

This is by no means health food, so do what we did. Eat a salad, and save room for dessert.


Random notes:
A denser bread will give you a breadier pudding; I used a very hearty bread, and the crunch of the crusts with the creaminess of the custard was really nice.

I scraped all the chocolate remnants at the bottom of the bowl onto the bread pudding and I could really taste those tiny pockets of pure chocolate. They were so sublime, I would consider adding the smallest amount of very very finely chopped chocolate next time, maybe just some shavings.

I had a small serving with creme fraiche and my advice is don't bother, unless intense chocolate is a turnoff for you. It distracted from the flavor of the chocolate, and I missed it.

31 comments:

What's for Supper? said...

I agree. 4 stars doesn't give it enough credit!

Marthe said...

Your pudding looks a lot more moist then mine!

Jessica said...

I loved this bread pudding,too! I did the same thing -- ate a super healthy, low-cal dinner and then banished it all by devouring the bread pudding afterwards!

Sabrina said...

Nice job... I didn't make it this week... but i love reading the descriptions of the chocolate and bread... mmmm!

Steph said...

I'm glad you liked this!

farah said...

It looks good :), glad you liked it.

chocolatechic said...

I used donuts for mine, and halved the custard portion.

I didn't use bittersweet, but I did use some dark chocolate.

AmyRuth said...

Leslie, I like you baking dish and I loved the chocolate as well. I liked it chilled because I thought the intensity of the chocolate was more prominent. I used challah and I really think the type of bread you use does influence the music in your mouth. he he
Great Work!
AmyRuth

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

Yours looks perfect. Nicely done ;)I also had to halve this recipe to protect myself from myself

leanne said...

The chocolate bits that I scraped in where the best part. Definately agree with your note. Certainly a salad night dessert. Yours looks wonderful.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Yum! Looks great and moist. Wish I had a bowl.

Megan said...

Ha ha - you're my kind of girl. Nothing should detract from the chocolate flavor.

pinkstripes said...

I'm glad it was a success for you! It looks wonderful.

Karen said...

Glad this was such a hit! :) Looks delicious!
Note to self: eat salad for dinner, save room for dessert!

Suzy said...

I love it here, but I love bread pudding, any kind! I brought mine up from a 4 to a 5 star! Check it out when you can. I never preheat mine. Just let it sit a little longer, sometimes over night...

Tracey said...

Haha you crack me up! I'm with you on this one - definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite Dorie recipes :)

Cathy said...

Yay for the 40 star bread pudding! I love when recipes exceed my expecations. Yours looks perfect!

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love the baking dishes you used ! Glad you loved it so much !!

Amanda said...

Dessert for dinner is always great! It is very chocolately, which I loved -- I even added more on top with a warm chocolate sauce! So the cream did help balance it out.

thegreatpantryraid said...

You must be quite a good baker since you knew to strain the custard - I had no idea, but I see a number of people did that!

I am intrigued by using a denser bread - it sounds like it worked out really well for you. Looks great! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Teanna DiMicco said...

Hahah I like your way of eating! Eat a salad, save room for dessert... sounds like something I would do! That bread pudding looks great!

Piggy said...

Great idea to have salad and save room for dessert. I do that all the time! ;-)

Pamela said...

Okay, at first I was like "she used a sweet bastard??" But then I realized that I read it wrong. Oops! It looks amazing! Nice job.

Sugared Ellipses... said...

I've been trying to catch up on my thanks for people who've left comments on my blog and you're on my list. Thanks!

That said, love the name of the blog! Also, why have I been cursed with inedible bread pudding? Everyone's blog I've come across has been raving about this pudding and mine was a crap-tastic disaster. I've said it many times elsewhere today...my bread was too stale. So I'll have to try it again. I'm dying to have these nirvana-like results!

Kayte said...

Don't you just love that P & Q section each week...I think that is the greatest deal...I learn so much from that alone! (I have a lot to learn, so I am always appreciative!) Your bread pudding looks really nice and I love the little ramekins...everything to me looks better in a ramekin! Great job.

margot said...

I actually saw your comment in the P&Q about using a crusty bread, and decided that's what I'd so I could use the leftover to make bread crumbs--so thank you! I'm glad this recipe was such a success for you, it looks great!

TeaLady said...

I love the pottery. My mom gives me a piece every year for Christmas and I love to use them for TWD photos. Your bread pudding looks perfect.

Babette said...

Love the idea of adding a few bits of chocolate in for little surprises at the end...REally lovely.

n.o.e said...

Great philosophy - salad leaves plenty of room for the good stuff! And how cool to jump back in with a recipe that merits extra stars.
Nancy

TourGuideJenn said...

I thought this was a little slice of heaven! Kudos to you for getting to the salad first -- I think one night this week it was my main course! (okay -- I worked late, so it was really a dessert, but still, you could have worse main courses....)

Glad you liked this -- it was waaaay yummy!

Liz said...

Wait, this isn't a health food? What if we use wheat bread? Then it would have whole grains, dairy, eggs...sounds healthy to me! Tell me my logic works!