a baker's dozen:chocolate chip bread pudding

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Being the first of my 13 challenges, I was hoping this would be a easy task. I have to say for the most part it was, but there are so many great recipes out there it was hard to decide. After looking through many cookbooks and checking out all of my favourite sites, one site ceases to let me down. Epicurious. If you've never visited this website, you need to. Get off facebook and go there now. It is a mecca of foodie tips, tricks and has an infinite amount of recipes for boiled water to a buche de noel .

Trusty epi gave the recipe, now I just needed to wrangle my ingredients. I always have fresh free-range, free-run eggs for a local farm that I buy once a week. They are always different shapes, sizes, colours and I love them for that. The only things I needed to pick up was cream and the egg bread. No big deal right? Wrong.

After buying my weekly vegetables, I went to a bakery chain, Cob's, thinking they're a bakery they must have egg bread/brioche/challah. I asked the lady at the counter if they sold any type of egg bread since I didn't see any, she looked at me like I have twelve heads. "Ummmmm, no we don't"

Now, one would think a chain of bakeries in Canada would at least know what egg bread is, apparently not. All was not lost though, I went up the street to a farmers market and they had a beautiful, golden brown, braided egg bread.

Now going into this, I thought it would be easy, but not this simple. The hardest part of this recipe was cutting the bread, Honestly. This would be a wonderful dessert for a dinner party since it needs at least a half hour to rest, but can sit for up to overnight. Plus since this dessert takes an hour to cook, you can just pop it in the oven and let it cook while you're eating.

This bread pudding will not last very long. The husband ate 3 helpings the night of and then ate it cold from the pan in the morning. I had a very un-ladylike size portion on the night of and ate it for lunch the next day. This is definitely a must-make for me again and I think you should try. But for reals, do it.

Chocolate chip bread pudding

[ from Bon Appetit via Epicurious ]

The original recipe calls for it to be served with a cinnamon rum sauce, I didn't have any rum so I didn't make it. We didn't miss it.

1 1 pound loaf egg bread with crust, cut into 1 inch cubes
10 tablespoons butter, divided and melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups half & half
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13x2 inch glass baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss together bread cubes and 8 tablespoons of melted butter. Toss until evenly coated, add chocolate chips, toss to combine. Pour bread mixture into glass dish. Note: the chocolate will sink to the bottom of the bowl while tossing, I tried to put most of the bread in first and then tucked in the chocolate afterwards so it would be evenly spread throughout.

In a large bowl, whisk together the half & half, 1 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and salt until well combined.  Pour over bread cubes and let stand for at least 30 minutes, pressing bread cubes down occasionally. If you are making this ahead, cover the dish and let sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. Can be made the day before.

Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on top of the pudding; sprinkle the top with the brown sugar, bake until bread is golden brown, puffy and set in the middle, about an hour.

Serve warm for dessert and/or breakfast. Alternatively you could eat it cold from the pan as the husband does. I prefer it warm.