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Chocolate Bread Pudding
No introduction required, just make it and eat it.
I made alterations as per usual. It was so damn good. Definitely would eat it with a little creme fraiche though. Ice cream & sweet whipping cream is a little over the top.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
Serves 8 to 10
A nine-by-thirteen-inch glass baking dish may be used in place of a gratin dish.
2 cups heavy cream (used 1/2 & 1/2 + creme & topped it with milk to make 2 cups)
2 cups milk
1 whole vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped
3 cinnamon sticks (optional)
1 loaf brioche, about 1 pound, or you may substitute white bread (used a 1/2 loaf of french)
12 ounces roughly chopped Valrhona or other bittersweet chocolate, plus 1/2 ounce or 1/4 cup shavings for garnish (chocolate chips)
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 container (8 ounces) crème fraîche (whipping cream from a can)
1. Heat the oven to 325°. Place the cream, milk, vanilla seeds and pod, and cinnamon sticks, if using, in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse flavors.
2. Cut the brioche into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut slices into quarters, setting aside the rounded top pieces. Fill a 9-by-12-inch gratin dish or a deep oval roasting dish with the quartered pieces.
3. Return the milk mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and discard vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks. Add chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Pour chocolate mixture very slowly into egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until fully combined.
4. Slowly pour half the chocolate custard over bread, making sure all the bread is soaked. Arrange the reserved bread on top in a decorative pattern, and press firmly so bottom layer of bread absorbs chocolate mixture. Spoon remaining custard over bread until completely covered and all cracks are filled. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dish; press down to soak bread thoroughly. Remove plastic, wipe edges of the dish with a damp towel, and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Place gratin dish in a larger pan; fill outer pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the gratin dish. Bake until set, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.
5. Whisk the crème fraîche until soft peaks form. Serve pudding warm, garnished with crème fraîche and chocolate shavings.
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