Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
You can’t make good bread pudding with bad bread. Good thing you have our plain sourdough to make this decadent dessert favorite!
Yield: 8 Servings
2 cups half & half or canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp. (42g) butter or dairy-free alternative, plus more for greasing dish
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cayenne
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
8 oz. 70% cacao or higher dark chocolate, chopped (yield 1 ⅓ cups), divided
3 large eggs
⅔ cup (136g) brown or coconut sugar
5 cups (8-10 oz.) cubed TML plain sourdough
Salted Caramel Sauce:
⅔ cup (136g) cane sugar
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. (40 ml) water
1 cup (8 fl oz.) heavy cream or canned coconut milk at room temperature*
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. (19g) butter or dairy-free alternative, softened
½ tsp. kosher salt
In a medium saucepan combine half & half, butter, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, and salt. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Once you see tiny bubbles forming around the perimeter, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hot burner.
Add the vanilla and 1 cup of the chocolate (reserve the remaining ⅓ cup). Let sit for 4 minutes, then stir gently to melt the chocolate.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until uniform. Add the sugar and beat or whisk to dissolve.
Very slowly drizzle the warm spiced milk mixture into the eggs a bit at a time, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the egg. Once all the milk is added, whisk just until uniform.
Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss to coat well. Let mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the custard to soak into the bread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-cup baking dish.
While the bread is soaking, make the caramel sauce: in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar and water. Let cook without stirring for 8-10 minutes, until sugar turns a deep amber color.
Carefully pour in the cream - it may splatter - and whisk until mixture becomes a smooth sauce. Remove from heat, stir in butter to melt and stir in salt. Cover and set aside while you finish the pudding.
Scatter the remaining chocolate over the top of the bread mixture and fold it in.
Scrape the bread mixture into the greased dish, spreading to distribute evenly.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until bread is lightly browned and custard is set but wobbles a bit when dish is shaken.
To serve, spoon bread pudding into dishes and drizzle with caramel sauce.
*It’s essential to have the cream for the caramel sauce at room temperature or warmer - if you add a cold liquid to sugar syrup it will seize up.