This is different from the bread pudding I usually make. It’s less dense and while it’s custardy, it isn’t overly custardy. Does that make any sense at all? Quite awhile back, when we could still dine out, The Goddess brunched at Rouge, in Philadelphia. This is her version of their fantastic bread pudding. The Progeny have always loved bread pudding, particularly The Eldest One. So two out of the three are here this weekend, so I thought this would be a nice dessert. And undoubtedly, it will be breakfast for them, too. You know, we’re like that. After all, when you really think about it, it’s just toast with sweetened scrambled eggs, right?
I prefer to use challah for bread. The texture is pretty much perfect. Cut your bread into about 1-inch thick slices. We beat the eggs, milk, half-and-half, heavy cream and vanilla (I use lots of vanilla extract) all together; add the sugar. Beat the mixture up, until it’s all frothy goodness. I just dip the slices into the milk mixture. In this version of bread pudding, I don’t soak the bread slices like I usually do in my “normal” bread pudding.Snuggle the dipped slices together in the soufflé dish so there aren’t any gaps, until you have a layer. Sprinkle on some chocolate chips, a good drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of Maldon® salt. I used mini, semi-sweet chips, this time. And The Eldest One, who is a great cook, thought of the caramel drizzle of caramel on each layer, along with a good sprinkle of salt. Brilliant, isn’t it? This is why we educate our children!!! Now repeat this layering, ending with the chocolate chips. I don’t put caramel on the top layer, because it’s going to stick to the foil like crazy, and creature a nasty mess…I’m speaking from experience here. Pour the remaining milk mixture over the whole thing. Spray a double thickness of foil and cover the bowl tightly. Bake for about an hour to and hour and a half. There should still be just the slightest bit of custard on the tip of the knife when you test for doneness. It will continue to cook as it cools. Do I have pictures of the finished product just out of the oven? No! We got to talking and I make no apologies for the moments chatting with our sons! Anyway, we like it served slightly warm, with some vanilla ice cream.
These pictures are from the Pineapple, Banana, Coconut Bread Pudding. But, this is what happens with bread pudding. When it comes out of the oven it will have puffed up rather nicely. Yeah, that’s not going to stay. It will collapse by as much as 1-2 inches. Don’t worry, that’s as it should be. All is right with the world.
Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chips
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3-fingered pinch kosher salt
- 2-3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
- Challah, cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used 6 challah buns)
- Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
- Purchased caramel sauce or dulce de leche (the pourable kind), optional
- Maldon® sea salt flakes, optional
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Caramel sauce, for serving
In a large-ish bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk the heck out of it, until it’s all frothy and light; set aside. Spray a large, deep soufflé dish with cooking spray. Dip each slice of bread into the egg/milk mixture. I use my freshly washed, very clean hands to do this. Do not soak the bread, just dip each side in. Place a layer of the dipped slices together in the prepared dish. Push them together to avoid gaps. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips. Keep repeating layering the bread and chocolate chips, until you’ve used all the bread. For this container, I used 4 layers and I ended with the chocolate chips. Pour the remaining egg/milk mixture evenly over the pudding, and gently press down on the bread (I use my hands for this, too). Let stand, on the counter, for 30-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a double layer of foil with some cooking spray, cover the dish tightly with the foil and place in the oven. Bake for 60-90 minutes. There should be just a bit of raw custard left on the tip of a knife, when inserted into the center. It will continue to bake as it cools. Serve slightly warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Or cool completely and chill. I think this is best served just slightly warm, which you can do by microwaving each portion for 10-15 seconds.
NOTE: We drizzled each layer with a few tablespoons purchased caramel sauce (ice cream topping) and a sprinkle of Maldon® sea salt this time, but Rouge’s version doesn’t do the caramel in the pudding.
Bread Pudding with Chocolate Chips Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.
Please take note, that if you use less bread, then use 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups whole milk and 1 cup half-and-half will work well to replace the dairy amounts given. This amount of custard would be perfect for a loaf pan.