Latest post

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding

It’s remarkable to think that bread pudding, something that originated in the 11th century, has risen its way up the ranks to become a “trendy dessert” around the world. In the early 11th and 12th centuries frugal cooks began making bread pudding to use leftover bread and eliminate waste. By the 13th century the English had coined this popular, and now common dish, “poor man’s pudding”.

bread pudding

A Pandemic Obsession

Bread pudding and I have a long history as well. Bread pudding was one of the dishes I became responsible for at my first job as a line cook. As the only woman in the kitchen, desserts became my responsibilities, albeit, not part of my actual job. Like rice pudding, I made bread pudding several times a week. But this dish, that I was so familiar with, took on a whole new meaning (and obsession) once the pandemic struck.

bread pudding

During the pandemic, stuck in lockdown, we all had a feeling of fear and hopelessness. With our world upside down, (and no vaccine in sight) the looming sense of doom and uncertainty was overwhelming. Panic was everywhere and things like toilet paper and basic pantry staples were suddenly hard to come by. My chef instincts, (like Spidey senses), quickly kicked in and eliminating waste became a serious focus for me. As did stress-baking, and a tall pour of Sauvignon blanc in the late afternoon.

bread pudding

Don’t Judge a Stress Baker

Deep within by baking phase were sub-layers of other comfort foods I obsessed over. I can’t recall them all surprisingly, but the most notable were; breads, cocktails and my chocolate bread pudding phase. The latter really began on Friday’s when I baked a fresh loaf of challah bread. The challah was essential to Shabbat, but simultaneously served two other equally important purposes: breakfast Saturday morning (cinnamon French toast) and dessert Sunday night. Bread pudding became a welcome ritual for all of us. We had something to look forward to. And whether it was served chilled with homemade whipped cream (how my older son prefers it), or warm with whip, (like my husband and younger son prefer it), chocolate bread pudding brought comfort we all craved.

Homemade or Store Bought

In the post-pandemic period, I have made this dish a bit less frequently, but when I do, it’s celebrated. It’s not discussed among us; it’s just understood as something special that bonds us. I still bake fresh challah every Friday so that is what I use to make my chocolate bread pudding. But you don’t have to bake the challah to make this classic dessert, any challah or brioche-type bread will work just as well.

Chocolate Bread Pudding

September 28, 2022
: 6
: 30 min
: 50 min
: 1 hr 20 min
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 5 cups challah (or brioche) bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper leaving enough for overhang on the longer sides. Lightly oil and place on a baking sheet.
  • Step 2 In a large mixing bowl add the milk, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk well to blend.
  • Step 3 Place the cubed bread in the bowl and using a large rubber tip spatula, gently mix to coat. Allow the bread mixture to sit, undisturbed, for 20 minutes.
  • Step 4 Once the bread has had time to soak, pour half the mixture into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to evenly spread out the mixture. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over the bread. Pour the remaining bread mixture on top of the chocolate chips and again, even out as best as possible. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
  • Step 5 Place the baking sheet and loaf pan into the oven, allow to cook, uncovered, until lightly golden brown, and set, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Dinner Recipes

Beef With Broccoli

Beef With Broccoli

Beef with broccoli reminds me of my childhood. My mom never made it from scratch, but we ordered it often when we ordered Chinese food and it remains, to this day, a favorite. And while this beloved Chinese-American dish graces the menu of almost every 

Crispy Beef And Lentil Bowl

Crispy Beef And Lentil Bowl

This is a perfect Buddha bowl to me. I mean seriously, what’s not to love about  flavorful, crispy beef and lentils?  Truth-be-told, I can’t claim credit to this incredibly wonderful bowl, but I had to share it, because I absolutely adore it. This recipe is lightly adapted 

Osso Buco

Osso Buco

What Is Osso Buco? Osso buco (also written osobuco, ossobucco, osso bucco), is perhaps the most famous Italian dish there is. The phrase itself, in Milan’s dialect, means “bone with a hole”, and is a fitting name for a dish that stars a succulent piece of 

Pan Seared Rib Eye With Radicchio And Mushrooms

Pan Seared Rib Eye With Radicchio And Mushrooms

The key to extra-juicy rib eye steaks, according to chef Renee Erickson, of the restaurant formally known as, Boat Street Café in Seattle, is to “baste them with butter while they sear“. That is what I learned in culinary school and why this pan seared 

Braised Brisket With Fennel and Shallots

Braised Brisket With Fennel and Shallots

Brisket is a cut of beef not everyone knows about, but should. And Jews love it. This is my braised brisket with fennel and shallots, and it’s a great, easy dish I make during the week, but that’s also elegant enough for a holiday dinner.