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Chocolate brioche bread pudding

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 9 to 12
Chocolate brioche bread pudding
(Glenn Koenig, Los Angeles Times)

Crème anglaise sauce

1

In a large heavy-bottom pan, bring the cream, milk and vanilla to a strong simmer. While the liquids are heating, combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk well to combine.

2

Slowly ladle about 2 cups of the heavy cream mixture into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly to combine and temper (carefully heat) the eggs. Tempering will help to keep the eggs from curdling as they cook to form the custard sauce.

3

Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the pan with the cream, and heat again over medium heat. Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened to a heavy sauce consistency. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan while stirring to prevent the eggs from curdling at the bottom.

4

When the sauce is thickened, immediately remove the pan from heat, and strain into a wide bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water; don’t press the custard through the strainer, but let it drain naturally to sift out any solids. Discard any solids in the strainer, and stir until the sauce is just warm. This makes about 1 1/2 quarts of sauce, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days; warm the sauce in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring gently, until heated through.

1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees, and bring a large pan of water to a simmer on the stove. Spread the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2

Gently press the cubes into a 3-quart deep gratin, loaf or baking dish. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips, along with 3 cups of the crème anglaise. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate chips and custard evenly over the bread.

3

Cover the dish with foil and place in a larger baking dish or roasting pan and place the roasting pan in the oven. Carefully fill the larger dish with the simmering water so the water reaches halfway up the sides of the smaller dish with the pudding (similar to filling a water bath when baking crème brûlées).

4

Bake until the bread pudding is set, 30 to 40 minutes. Carefully remove the bread pudding from the water bath.

5

Serve the bread pudding warm with extra crème anglaise, a scoop of ice cream and garnished with fresh mint.


Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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