I think this Chocolate Chestnut Bread Pudding may be the ultimate comfort food. I always have bread on the counter. Since my new book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, came out, I have several loaves going at a time. What to do with all the partially eaten loaves? Cube it up, soak it in a rich custard and bake it. It could not be any easier and the results are warm and so satisfying. Bread pudding is one of the those desserts that also doubles as breakfast, like pie and cake! 🙂 No, really, it is full of eggs and toasty bread and this one just happens to have bits of chocolate and chunks of chestnuts. If you were to serve it with a dollop of creme fraiche instead of ice cream, it would be a simple and elegant Christmas breakfast. Add the ice cream and it is a homey, but decadent dessert.
When I worked in restaurants my bread pudding was always one of the most popular desserts on the menu. Hope you enjoy it!
- Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish or eight 1-cup ramekins (if using ramekins, I also coat the butter with sugar). Distribute the cubed bread evenly in the dish. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the custard in a bowl. Pour it over the cubed bread and gently push the bread down into the custard. The bread will soak up the custard, so it may take a minute of soaking before you can fit all of the custard in the dish. You can bake it right after it soaks up all the custard, or you can cover and refrigerate it to soften even more (30 minutes to 24 hours).
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Bake for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on what size pan you use and how deep they are. The custard should just barely be set in the middle and even a little loose when giggled, but not liquid. It will firm up as it cools.
- Cool for about 15 minutes before serving warm with ice cream or serve at room temperature.