Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
This is a layered custardy bread pudding from the James Beard-nominated LA chef, Suzanne Goin. She has been making it for 20 years. "Use just a single layer of brioche, which creates a crispy crust but won't absorb all the rich, silky custard underneath. Once you break through the caramelized, toasty top layer and dig down through the luscious custard, a treasure of melted chocolate awaits you at the bottom." Recipe was printed in her excellent cookbook, "Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table"
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 -5 slices brioche bread (Pepperidge Farm works well) or 4 -5 slices good quality white bread, 1/4-inch thick, crusts removed (Pepperidge Farm works well)
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 2 extra-large egg yolks
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1⁄4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3⁄4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for caramelizing the top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the softened butter on one side of the brioche. Cut each slice in half on the diagonal and then again into quarters.
- Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, whisking to combine well.
- Sprinkle the chocolate over the bottom of a 9-by-9-inch (or equivalent) baking dish. Arrange the brioche, buttered side up, with slices overlapping just slightly, on the chocolate (there should be just a single layer of bread). Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down with your fingers to make sure the bread soaks it up. Place the bread pudding in a roasting pan, and pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding dish. Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the custard is set and the bread puffs up slightly. The pudding will be springy to the touch.
- Let the bread pudding cool at least 10 minutes.
- If you have a kitchen blowtorch, sprinkle the sugar over the top, and torch to brown and caramelize. If you don't have a torch, You run the pudding under the broiler to caramelize, but be careful not to curdle the custard underneath. Serve the bread pudding from the baking dish at the table, using a big spoon.