Use up that day-old bread you have on your counter and make a decadent dessert by soaking it in porter beer, coffee and chocolate. This chocolate bread pudding topped with a dollop of whipped cream is a perfect dessert.
This is a recipe from way back that I’ve decided to revisit.
Any bread pudding fans out there?
The great thing about bread pudding is that it’s a way to prevent food waste, by utilizing leftover bread that might otherwise get tossed. Plus, it’s easy to prepare and delicious.
At a minimum, all you need to make bread pudding is some form of day-old bread (of course), eggs, sweetener of your choice, and a liquid for soaking the bread, typically, milk or cream. Bread pudding starts with a custard, that is, eggs whisked with milk or cream and thickened over low heat. Some recipes call for brioche, challah, pannetone, ordinary sandwich bread, and even croissants; some for sliced bread, others for cubed bread. Regardless of which bread you use or how you cut it, make sure you start with stale or fairly dry bread to allow for maximum absorption of the custard.
From there you can get as creative as you like.
I swapped out some of the heavy cream with a favorite Imperial Porter, cold-steeped with coffee and vanilla in bourbon and rye whiskey oak casks. I used two-day old sourdough bread for its tanginess (crust included, for added texture). I went with brown sugar for its complex, molasses notes; and a good amount of fruity, dark chocolate (70% cacao).
When the bread pudding comes out of the oven, the top layer is nice and golden and crispy, but underneath it’s smooth and custardy. I like it served warm, with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top. Yum!
- butter, for greasing baking pan
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle coffee porter or stout
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling over top
- 1¼ cups dark chocolate, chopped (70%)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 6 cups white sourdough bread into roughly 1-inch cubes
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a baking dish large enough to accommodate the bread.
- Bring the porter/stout, cream, and ¾ cup sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Add ¾ cup chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Gradually whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the custard on top. Let sit 30 minutes to allow bread to absorb the custard.
- Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup chopped chocolate in the bottom of the baking dish. Transfer the bread mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.
- Bake until the custard thickens and the center is just set, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.