If you love celebrating, parties and good food, this is the week for you. With both Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day this week, it would be fitting to share a recipe that celebrates both days, for different reasons.
Valentine’s Day simply would not be the same without chocolate. Whether in cookies, cakes, candy or other sublime temptations, we just can’t seem to get enough of it on February 14.
Likewise, bread pudding has long been the quintessential dessert to eat in New Orleans, so it just seems right to celebrate Mardi Gras with a decadent, creamy and insanely rich milk chocolate bread pudding with shards of milk chocolate running all through it and drizzled with creamy salted caramel and sweetened whipped cream too. Two holidays, one dessert – surely no one will mind eating this one twice!
Use the best chocolate you can for this recipe. Find Ghirardelli chocolate at Reasor’s or visit Nouveau Atelier de Chocolate in downtown Broken Arrow for wonderful chocolate and gifts for the chocoholics in your life.
Milk Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel
- 1 pound stale French bread, torn into 1 inch pieces
- 1 (11.5 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
- 4 cups half and half
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (4 oz.) bar milk chocolate, chopped
Spread stale bread evenly in a 13x9 baking dish. Set aside.
Place chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl. Heat the half and half to just simmering in a saucepan or in microwave. Pour over chocolate chips and let stand for a couple of minute before stirring. Stir until smooth. Cool until just barely warm.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk together until all is well incorporated. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
Pour custard over bread. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over all.
Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake…
Let bread pudding stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.
Serve with Salted Caramel and sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over high heat until mixture becomes golden amber in color.
Heat the cream in another saucepan or in a microwave safe container until just simmering. Very carefully, whisk the hot cream into the caramel and continue whisking until smooth.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time until smooth.
Drizzle over individual servings of bread pudding.
Makes 12 servings