Bread pudding was a favorite when I was growing up. My mother would use leftover biscuits and whatever sandwich bread she had around the kitchen. I love this sophisticated and updated version of a nostalgic favorite. Add your favorite nut for additional crunch or serve with Champagne Sabayon.

Ingredients

Coffee Ganache

  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coffee extract

Bread Pudding

  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, for greasing baking dish
  • 3 Cup diced brioche, egg, or raisin bread, crust trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/3 Cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2/3 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1/3 Cup bourbon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cup Champagne Sabayon, for garnish (optional)
  • Cocoa powder, for garnish

Preparation

Step 1

For the Ganache: Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the chocolate and extract in medium bowl; pour in the hot cream. Stir until chocolate has melted. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the chocolate ganache; set the rest aside.

Step 2

For the Bread Pudding: Evenly spread the butter onto the bottom and sides of a medium baking dish; set aside

Step 3

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and eggs until combined; set aside. Gently whisk the remaining 1⁄2 cup heavy cream into the chocolate ganache until well blended. Whisking slowly, add the unreserved chocolate ganache into the egg mixture until well blended and smooth. Stir in the bourbon, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour 1 cup of the custard into the prepared pan and place half of the bread over the custard in an even layer. Distribute the reserved 1⁄2 cup of chocolate ganache, teaspoon by teaspoon, over the bread; add the remaining bread in an even layer. Pour the remaining custard over the bread. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 4hours, or up to overnight.

Step 4

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325°F.

Step 5

Place the covered pudding in a larger pan lined with a kitchen towel. Carefully place the pan on the oven rack and fill larger pan with hot water to reach two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pudding dish.

Step 6

Bake for 20 minutes; remove the cover, and bake until puffed, golden brown, and a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean, an additional 25minutes. Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack and cool the custard until warm, about 10minutes.

Step 7

Place a serving of warm pudding onto an individual plate, dollop with an oval shaped portion of sabayon, and dust with powdered cocoa.