Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe

Yield: 8-10 servings

"A 9x13 glass baking dish may be used intead of gratin dish. You can also use white bread in place of brioche. I suggest you choose the best quality chocolate you can find for a more delightful and savory dessert. Use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate for garnish."

170 g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus 1/2 oz. shaved for garnishing (if desired)
500 g half-and-half (1 quart)
4 pcs large egg yolks
75 grams refined sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 loaf brioche (approx 1 pound)
1 8-oz container creme fraiche

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place chocolate in bowl (heat-proof). In a small saucepan, bring half-and-half just to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture, and whisk until smooth.
Cut brioche in 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut-off rounds; slice each in half, and set aside. Cut each slice into quarters. Fill a 9x12 gratin dish or a deep oval roasting dish with the quartered bread. Pour half the chocolate mixture over the bread, and press down with a spatula to help the bread absorb the custard. Arrange reserved bread pieces on top.
Pour remaining chocolate mixture over bread until it is completely covered and all cracks are filled. Press bread down with a spatula to soak thoroughly. Clean the edges with a damp cloth. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Place dish in a large roasting pan, fill pan enough hot water to reach halfway up sides of dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until pudding is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
In another small bowl, whisk creme fraiche until soft peaks are formed. Serve pudding warm, garnished with dollops of creme fraiche and chocolate shavings, if desired.

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