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My boyfriend has actually said that, if forced to choose in a life-or-death situation, he might go with this dessert over me. But it's so good that I'm not really that offended. I got this recipe from his mom, and I think it's from a newspaper column dating back to the 1980s. I like to serve this with a creme anglaise -- I'm still perfecting my version so I haven't included it, but I'm sure there's a great creme anglaise somewhere on this website.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs brioche bread (you can substitute challah if you can't find brioche)
- 1 lb melted unsalted butter (but have up to 1/2 lb. more on you just in case you run out during the dipping)
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup Belgian chocolate, semi-sweet, good quality (you can also use bittersweet chocolate if that is your preference)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Slice crusts off brioche. Cut into 3/4 inches slices. Dip slices into melted butter and place on baking rack. Place rack on top of a baking sheet (to catch drips) and toast for 5-10 min, watching closely to make sure they don't burn.
- Arrange toasted slices in a 9x13 pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar.
- Melt chocolate in a bowl that has been placed in a wide skillet of barely simmering water.
- Put milk and cream in a saucepan and scald (i.e., bring it nearly to a boil but don't let it boil, and stir actively to keep the milk skin from forming).
- When the milk has been scalded, whisk gradually into the egg mixture. Then whisk in melted chocolate and vanilla.
- Pour mixture over brioche. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down (I place books on top of the plastic wrap). Let sit for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325. Take plastic wrap off and replace with foil. Puncture foil with a fork. Place pan inside a larger pan filled with boiling water and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until liquid is absorbed and the bread looks a bit shiny.
- Serve with creme anglaise drizzled on top.