Chocolate Bread Pudding

I’m in love with 12 little ceramic containers. My new ramekins have been full more days than they have been empty since I got them at Christmas. There’s something about a creamy treat in a ramekin that I just adore. So when I spotted this recipe for chocolate bread pudding in the original Fanny Farmer cookbook, I knew that it would be the perfect partner for my ramekins.

And it is. It’s creamy, rich, chocolatey with a great texture. This is the only bread pudding recipe I’ve seen that uses bread crumbs and I think it works beautifully.

As is usually the case for bread puddings, this works best with good bread. I used our homemade-wild-yeast-breadmachine-sourdough (much easier than it sounds!) but any hearty white bread will do.

If I wasn’t hiding in the dark kitchen wolfing down my ramekin-full of bread pudding before my toddler finds me and wants some, I’d curl up on the sofa ramekin in one hand and a good book in the other. At least I can dream.

Chocolate Bread Pudding adapted from The Original Fanny Farmer 1896 Cook Book
makes 6 1/2 cup ramekins

1 C bread crumbs
2 C whole milk
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 oz. (= 1 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1/3 C sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Rule:

Place milk in a saucepan and scald (heat until just steaming, not boiling).

Place bread crumbs in a bowl and pour milk over them. Let stand for 30 minutes. The bread will absorb much of the milk but the mixture will still be very liquid.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. When it’s mostly melted add the cocoa powder and stir with a spatula. The mixture will be thick. Take off the heat. Add half the sugar and 2-3 Tbs. of the milk & bread mixture. You want the chocolate mixture to be fairly pourable.

Add the chocolate mixture to the bread & milk. Add the remaining sugar, then the salt, vanilla & egg. Mix well.

Pour into 6 ramekins or one oven proof dish and bake at 180C/375F for 30-35 minutes (longer if you’re using a single dish). The centre will still be jiggly. Start checking early, you don’t want to over cook them. They will puff up slightly and then sink down when you take them out. Enjoy warm or cold.

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