It's fun to try new ideas and it's always fun to freestyle cook. And it's particularly fun to stir every form of chocolate into one bread pudding. I admit sometimes I feel the need to go overboard a little bit and even push some limits, but the kitchen is a really safe place to do that, and a fun place too. Once you know the bread pudding rules, you can break them all day long. Who knows? You might just end up with Five Chocolate Bread Pudding with Chocolate Whipped Cream.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
For the bread pudding
3 cups (750 mL) of chocolate milk
1 cup (250 mL) of brown sugar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of cocoa powder
1 (15 mL) of pure vanilla extract
4 ounces (115 g) of dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) cup of chocolate liqueur
1 loaf of leftover rich bread, cut into bite-size cubes
1 cup (250 mL) or so of chocolate chips
For the chocolate whipped cream
2 cups (500 mL) of whipping cream
4 ounces (115 g) of dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180ºC) and turn on your convection fan if you have on. Lightly oil 6 to 8 large ramekins or 1 larger baking pan.
In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the chocolate milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla until gently heated through. No need to boil, you’re just getting the milk hot enough to melt the chocolate. Place the dark chocolate chunks in a large bowl, pour the hot mixture over and stir until the chunks are melted and smooth. Whisk in the eggs and the chocolate liqueur. Toss in the bread, cooling it slightly and gently turning it until the bread has soaked up all the chocolate mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon and fill the individual ramekins or the larger pan. Bake until firm and set, 45 to 60 minutes. No need to call everyone, the smell will have them waiting at the oven. Cool slightly, serve and share!
Meanwhile, make the chocolate whipped cream. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer then turn off the heat. Whisk in the chocolate until it is melted, smooth and glossy. Chill the chocolate cream in the refrigerator. Once cooled, whip until light and fluffy and serve over your bread pudding.
© Chef Michael Smith