With a refrigerator that was jammed full of fresh new food after a trip to the market, I needed to clear out some old food. You know how I dislike throwing food out, so I had to figure out what to do with three butt-ends of bread. No good for sandwiches and no need for bread crumbs but perfect for bread pudding.
I’d been toying with the idea of a chocolate bread pudding for a while, which gave me a few hours doing one of my favourite things: looking through my collection of cookbooks to find the perfect recipe to try out.
Speaking of cookbooks: Very sad news received last week. The Cookbook Store in Toronto was going to close and by the time this is posted, they will have. Last year, they celebrated their 30th year in business and I was lucky enough to be part of their celebrations when I won a cookbook from them. I may have mentioned my very prized possession in previous posts (here for example), an autographed copy of Nigellissima, and that’s where it’s from.
I’ve spent a lot of time and taken home a lot of cookbooks from this store and enjoyed every moment I spent in the shop. And it was the place I ‘met’ Julia Child, so it was my cooking mecca. The store was tiny, but packed with the best books and magazines and I will miss my trips there. Coming so close behind the closing of my previous go-to store for books, Nicholas Hoare, makes me realize again that it’s important to patronize these independent stores so they can continue to offer the fantastic customer service and well curated selection of books that they do.
One last visit.
Not too many books left by the time I got to the shop.
I should have asked if this was up for grabs.
The books that I did add to my collection. There’s Burma by Naomi Duguid, The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol and 14 Years of Microwave Cooking by Madame Jehane Benoit. A Canadian trifecta!
Goodbye, Cookbook Store.
Back to the bread pudding.
Get all the bread out of the refrigerator.
Trim off the crusts and cut the bread into cubes.
I stopped when I had 8 cups of bread cubes.
Get some butter.
Measure the chocolate.
In a saucepan, heat the chocolate, butter and milk.
After 5 minutes.
Add the sugar. Around this time, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon too.
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
Pour the liquid over the bread cubes.
Toss the bread in the chocolate milk mixture to be sure the bread is coated and soaks it up.
Serve the Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Worth saving several hunks of bread for!
Here’s the recipe:
Chocolate Bread Pudding
This pudding can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. To chill, let cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
8 slices (8 ounces) cinnamon-raisin bread
2 cups milk
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
(If you’re not using cinnamon-raisin bread, consider adding 1 tsp. cinnamon.)
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Using a cinnamon-raisin bread adds even more flavor to this chocolatey pudding.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 11-by-7-inch (or 9-inch square) baking dish; set aside. Toast bread (in the oven or toaster) until lightly crisped.
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, chocolate, and butter; place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes.
Tear bread into large pieces (about 4 or 5 per slice); scatter evenly in prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in warm milk mixture until combined. Pour over bread.
Bake until pudding has puffed and is firm, about 25 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes, and dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.