Chocolate Chunk Brioche Bread Pudding
A rich, creamy southern bread pudding made with brioche and dotted with semi-sweet chocolate chunks. One bite and you will agree this is the best Brioche Bread Pudding…..EVER.
Note: Original recipe published on February 13, 2014 and updated with new photos/improved recipe on February 16, 2018.
My favorite dessert ever is an old fashioned bread pudding. My husband and I would go to a local food emporium to get take out for the weekend and we always made a point of grabbing some individual desserts. I always ordered the bread pudding which came with a rum sauce on the side.
It’s a decadent dessert that’s somewhat overlooked on all the dessert menus because bread pudding doesn’t really sound so appetizing. But it’s rich, buttery and creamy…the perfect comfort food, in my opinion.
And what’s better, this Brioche Bread Pudding is super easy to make. You can even prep it ahead if you’re entertaining which makes it even better because a no fuss dessert is totally my speed.
BRIOCHE BREAD PUDDING
If you’ve never had bread pudding before…..you are going to LOVE it! I promise. Originating in New Orleans, the OG recipe has raisins in it but I’m a chocolate fan so I replaced the raisins here.
Essentially, brioche bread pudding is made with lightly toasted bread cubes or stale bread….soaked in a sweet custard sauce and sprinkled with chocolate chunks that, when baked, melt perfectly into the creamy pudding.
The custard is made of eggs, cream and sugar….sort of like a vanilla ice cream base. See where I’m going here. Then the bread pudding is baked until it’s puffed up and golden, like a giant soufflé.
Take a bite….crunchy, creamy, sweet and…..pass out from the deliciousness. My version is super rich so you won’t mind sharing. Really, it’s a recipe you could make a lot of friends with.
Bread pudding is most often served with a warm rum sauce but I opted for caramel sauce for this recipe….you can use whatever you want.
HOW TO MAKE IT FROM SCRATCH
Brioche Bread Pudding is crazy, insanely easy to make from scratch and you probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now. I like to start with a buttery brioche bread but any sturdy white bread will work for this recipe.
Cut the bread into 1 inch thick slices.
Toast the bread in the oven.
Make the custard by whisking together the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar and vanilla bean paste until combined and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let steep.
Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar until light in color.
Ladle the warm milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine.
Cut the bread into bite sized cubes and layer in the bottom of the ramekins.
Top with chocolate chunks and then add another layer of bread.
Ladle the egg mixture into each until it is approximately 1/4 inch from the top.
Bake the bread pudding for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
You can serve your Brioche Bread Pudding warm or cold, topped with a heaping pile of whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. (It makes a great breakfast!)
HOW TO SERVE IT
I love to serve it warm from the oven with a healthy drizzle of caramel sauce or a giant scoop of ice cream. But it’s great served at room temperature or straight from the fridge for an ultra indulgent breakfast treat drizzled with a bit of strawberry puree. You know, because fruit makes it healthy.
You can store leftover bread pudding in the refrigerator covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Beyond that, it will begin to dry out….but that hasn’t stopped me from eating it 5 days later. Just truth talking here.
MORE BREAD PUDDING RECIPES
But we have become such lovers of bread pudding I’ve been making it anyway I can. Like this Caramel Apple Bread Pudding has a fruit studded, walnut filled center that is just amazing…..and my favorite Pumpkin Bread Pudding is perfect for fall.
Brioche Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding
- 6 1- inch thick slices brioche or challah bread
- 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
- 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
- Put the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast both sides under the broiler until golden brown. (Don't look away....they go from light golden to burned in an instant. Be alert!) Remove and let cool to room temperature.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar and vanilla bean paste until combined and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let steep.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar until light in color. Carefully, ladle some of the warm milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue adding ladles of the milk to the egg while whisking constantly until all the milk is combined with the eggs. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Butter 6 large ramekins and set aside.
- Cut the bread into bite sized pieces and layer in the bottom of the ramekins. Top each with a few chocolate chunks and then add another layer of bread. Top with more chocolate and continue until all the bread and chocolate has been used. Press down lightly on each ramekin to make sure all the bread is firmly in place.
- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and carefully ladle the egg mixture into each until it is approximately 1/4 inch from the top. Discard any remaining egg mixture.
- Bake the bread pudding for 40 minutes or until puffed up and the custard has set. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Leftover bread pudding can be kept in an airtight container refrigerated for up to two days.