chocolate raspberry bread pudding
Is it already February? As we hunker down here, sparkly snow settling around our little house, I’m clinging to the silver thread of hope that is spring. I sent out our seed order last week, I notice the light lingering ever-so-slightly later in the day, and I remember from the past two springs we’ve lived in this house that the red-wing blackbirds return in late March. Hard to believe, but we’re getting there.
Though I have yet to blog about them (and they do deserve their very own post)*, one of the additions to our little “homestead” this past year has been a small flock of backyard chickens. We raised them from chicks, and it’s amazing to me to see how hardy they are even in the bitter cold of upstate NY winters. They’ve kept laying eggs for us through the winter, which means that our consumption of egg-themed meals and desserts has racheted up considerably!
Cinnamon, our Golden Buff hen, earlier this fall
I made this bread pudding recently, mainly to use up some of the burgeoning egg collection in our fridge — and also as a vehicle for some delicious challah bread I picked up from a local bakery. It’s deeply chocolatey, with cocoa and chocolate flavoring the custard mixture as well as bits of chocolate mixed in with the bread cubes.
Tossing in some frozen raspberries provides a nice tart-sweet bite to counter the richness of the pudding…and of course, it would make a lovely dessert for Valentine’s Day!
*For local readers, you can read more about my backyard chicken adventures in the Fall issue of Edible Finger Lakes magazine.
Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding
from The Inquiring Chef
4 cups 1-inch cubes egg bread (such as challah), with crust
¾ cups raspberries (frozen and thawed are fine)
1¼ cups bittersweet chocolate chips, divided (I used 60% Ghiardelli chips)
1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
1 cup lowfat milk (I used 1%)
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
½ cup sugar
Grease either six individual (1- to 1 1/4 cup) ramekins or an 8×8 baking dish. Layer the bread cubes, raspberries and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. (Start with about a third of the bread cubes, toss in half of the raspberries and half of the chocolate, add another layer of bread cubes, and so on. Save a few raspberries to sprinkle on top.)
In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together the cream, milk and cocoa. Add the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk and remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and sugar. Gradually whisk in the hot chocolate-cream mixture. Pour this custard mixture over the bread mixture, and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The bread will absorb some of the custard.Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake pudding until set in centers, about 35-40 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.