Brioche Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

Brioche Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding.

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Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

-6 1-inch thick slices brioche or challah bread

-1 3/4 cups 2% milk

-1 3/4 cup heavy cream

-1 cup granulated sugar, divided

-1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

-6 large eggs

-5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips

Cooking method:  

Put the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast both sides under the broiler until golden brown. (Don’t look away….they go from light golden to burned in an instant.  Be alert!) Remove and let cool to room temperature.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar and vanilla bean paste until combined and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and let steep.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar until light in color.  Carefully, ladle some of the warm milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine.  Continue adding ladles of the milk to the egg while whisking constantly until all the milk is combined with the eggs.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Butter 6 large ramekins and set aside.

Cut the bread into bite sized pieces and layer in the bottom of the ramekins.  Top each with a few chocolate chunks and then add another layer of bread.  Top with more chocolate and continue until all the bread and chocolate has been used.  Press down lightly on each ramekin to make sure all the bread is firmly in place.

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and carefully ladle the egg mixture into each until it is approximately 1/4 inch from the top.  Discard any remaining egg mixture.

Bake the bread pudding for 40 minutes or until puffed up and the custard has set.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Leftover bread pudding can be kept in an airtight container refrigerated for up to two days.

Note: The bread pudding can be made up to 24 hours in advance and not baked.  Cover the unbaked bread pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Allow to come to room temperature prior to baking.

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