So, last time I promised you a part 2 to the pumpkin bread, and here it is. Finally.
Dark Chocolate-Espresso Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce. That’s a mouthful! I don’t think I could have possibly squeezed one more of my favourite things in there if I tried. But it works, and it works well. I never miss an opportunity to add salted caramel.
I’m not sure how this happened, but I have never made or eaten bread pudding before. To be honest, it never seemed like the most appealing thing. Boy, was I wrong.
Bread pudding; it’s all kinds of wonderful. When I made the pumpkin bread, I told you it was amazing. And it is. But seriously folks, soak it in eggs, milk, cream, pumpkin, sugar, all kinds of wonderful spices, bake it, and you have one heck of a dessert. But wait, then you douse it with salted caramel, and it becomes a serious winner. (The salted caramel is optional, but not really.). I have no idea what took me so long to make this, but this is not the last you have seen of bread pudding. Promise.
After a few bites, I decided that this could totally replace pumpkin pie for me at Thanksgiving. I mean, how nice would it be to change things up and serve this? Go for it!
A perfectly decadent bread pudding using dark chocolate-espresso pumpkin bread.
- 2 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 cups half-and-half, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups pure pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
- 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- generous pinch fleur de sel
- Once you have baked and cooled your bread. You have to toast it.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
- Slice the loaf into 1-inch slices, and then each slice into 1-inch cubes. It should yield about 7 cups of cubes. Gently spread the cubes onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes. Halfway through baking remove the tray from the oven and gently flip over all the cubes using a fork or spatula, then return to the oven to finish toasting.
- Once finished toasting, cool the baking sheet on a wire rack for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar until combined. Add in the half-and-half, pumpkin puree, 5 tablespoons of the melted butter and whisk until well combined. Whisk in the espresso powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla extract.
- Gently stir in about 6 cups of the toasted bread cubes until all the cubes are coated with the custard.
- Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, gently mixing about every 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x13 inch dish (preferably glass), or ramekins. The ones used in the photo were about 8 oz, and you would probably need about 8.
- Toss the remaining 1 cup of bread cubes with the remaining melted butter.
- Pour the custard into the prepared dish or divide evenly amongst the ramekins. It will appear that you have too much liquid, but use it all. Scatter the buttered cubes over the custard. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 25 minutes or so, but serve warm.
- Place the sugar in an even layer in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat. When the sugar starts to melt, use a heat proof spatula to push it towards the centre of the pot, then gently even the layer back out. Keep doing this until the sugar is all melted. Let the sugar come to a boil and remove from the heat when it becomes a dark amber colour.
- Whisk in the butter, then the heavy cream. Be careful as the mixture will bubble vigourously. If there are any bits of sugar, return the pot to the stove over low heat and mix until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
- The caramel will thicken as it cools. This will make more caramel than you need, but just store it in the fridge in an airtight container. You can use it on everything: pancakes, ice cream, waffles, in coffee, etc. Trust me, it won't go to waste.
- Serve the pudding warm, drizzled with salted caramel. And if your feeling a little crazy :), top it with some lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream.
- Note: The pudding is best served fresh from the oven, however you can reheat refrigerated leftovers in a 225 degree oven until warm, or the microwave, which is what I did. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, well wrapped.
- Although this recipe seems fairly involved, all the components are quite easy. The pumpkin bread, and the caramel can be made ahead of time which will make assembly easy. I froze my bread, then brought back to room temperature to toast. The caramel can be made, refrigerated, then warmed slightly in the microwave before serving.
- The caramel recipe will make more than you need, but just save it in airtight container and use it for other things.
- I used only half the bread, and halved the custard recipe and it worked out perfectly.
Adapted from Baked Elements.
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