For two days, I haven’t wanted to get out of the comforting confines of my bed - the inevitable consequence of the most sobering of realities we are living in. But I knew baking would help me get away from pointless doomscrolling.
So, I decided to blend the most soul-soothing dessert – bread pudding – to dark chocolate’s addictive, decadent qualities. The resultant chocolate chip bread pudding was dangerously delectable, leaving no room for worry, fear, and anxiety.
The custard-soaked bread cubes melt in your mouth with the crust lending the slightest of crispness and the creaminess of dark chocolate (I used a mix of Callebaut and Cocoacraft), bringing in a lovely velvety texture.
All those of you looking for something to uplift your spirits, try the pudding. Or maybe bake it for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, or frankly speaking, any day of the week.
How to make chocolate chip bread pudding?
I wanted to make something heartening, something we use to make as kids. I also wanted to use regular pantry ingredients because deliveries are iffy, and most of us are making do with what we already have.
So, bread pudding it was. The recipe requires just bread, milk, eggs, and sugar – ingredients everyone has at home.
- Start by cutting the bread into cubes. It’s nice to have the crust off, but I didn’t bother with it.
Dry bread keeps the pudding from being too soggy. That’s why I recommend using a day or two-old stale bread.
If you have only fresh bread, leave it out for three to four hours or bake it at a low temperature for about 20 minutes. That’s sufficient to dry it out. I skipped this step entirely!
- Mix in chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar into the bread cubes. I added a bit of both, but the choice is yours.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, raw sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Be liberal with your vanilla because it masks the eggy taste.
- Pour this custard mixture on the bread cubes and chocolate. Press down a bit to help the bread soak it up.
- Let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. The staler your bread, the more time it will need.
- Pour the entire mixture into a baking dish. I used a round 9-inch pan, but any will work. I sprinkled some more chocolate chips on top, because, well why not! But you can leave that out if you prefer.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes till the top is golden brown, the center has set, and there is no liquid floating around.
Variations of chocolate chip bread pudding
Bread pudding uses the most ordinary of ingredients. Yet you can make the dessert as simple as you want or as extravagant as you wish. Think of it as a blank slate, ready for your inspiration:
- Add a few nuts like toasted almonds or walnuts to accent the flavor.
- Gussy it up with fresh cherries as I did with my cherry bread pudding.
- Strawberries, apples, or any berry you prefer would work like a charm.
- Blend in a hint of coffee powder to heighten the perception and flavor of chocolate.
- Spiking the custard with a shot of rich rum or bourbon is a recipe for success (especially if you’re making the pudding for Father’s Day).
- As an afterthought, I definitely should have added some cinnamon to deepen the vanilla flavor.
Which bread to use for bread pudding?
Some say enriched breads with a good chew, like brioche, is what you need for bread pudding. I didn’t have the energy to make brioche, let alone wait for it to soak up the custard. So, regular store-bought bread did the trick for me.
Any bread will work, as long as it is stale. Please go ahead and use what you have in hand – milk bread, white bread, or any other.
But if you have access to a fluffy Italian or French bread that’s crisp on top and soft inside, then use that. Their stretchy texture lends itself incredibly well to the pudding.
Which chocolate is best for bread pudding?
I prefer dark chocolate because it lifts the standard bread and milk pudding to gooey decadence. And even with a hefty amount of it, the sweetness is subtle.
But milk chocolate is also a possibility. Just remember to reduce the amount of sugar to keep the flavor balance.
Please stay away from the candy bar chocolates for this recipe.
Which milk to use for the recipe?
I used coconut milk because I am lactose intolerant. But any milk will do, from plant-based to regular.
Which sugar to use for bread pudding?
Raw sugar is my go-to choice. You can give cane sugar, palm sugar, or regular sugar a whirl. Coconut sugar or brown sugar are excellent substitutes for those who love a caramelized taste.
Can you make bread pudding without egg?
I haven’t ever made bread pudding without eggs. So, I have no egg substitute for you. In case you stumble upon an eggless recipe, do share it in the comments.
Serving the bread pudding
Always let bread pudding settle for a few minutes and then serve it warm. Although, you can have it cold too. It’s perfectly delightful on its own, but a scoop of chilled vanilla ice cream delivers a whole lot more satisfaction to the soul. Or you can pair the chocolate bread pudding with a dollop of cream.
Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
- 12-14 Bread slices, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup Dark chocolate chips I used a mix of 80% and 70% chocolate
- 1 1/4 cup Coconut milk You can use any milk you prefer
- 1 cup Raw sugar You can use any sugar you prefer- cane/ palm/ brown/ coconut/ white
- 4 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Extra chocolate chips for scattering on top
- Combine the cubed bread and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Pour over the bread. Press the bread down a bit so it absorbs the custard mixture well.
- Let the mixture stand for at least 15 minutes so most of the custard gets soaked.
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Pour the bread mixture into a round pan, 8"/9" in diameter.
- Scatter some extra chocolate chips on top if you wish. Bake for 40-45 minutes till the pudding looks golden brown on top and the custard is set.
- Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or cream. It's wonderful as is too. Enjoy!