We’ve sponsored the California State Fair Chocolate Passion Contest for nearly fifteen years, and occasionally I get to hand out the medals. One year, the host asked me to share my favorite dessert. When I said bread pudding, there was an awkward silence followed by a few chuckles; apparently bread pudding wasn’t a glamorous choice. I stand behind my answer and defy anyone to taste this luscious, rich, chocolate bread pudding and tell me it doesn’t have a place in the pantheon of great desserts. For my bread pudding, I use challah—a fluffy, lightly sweet egg bread that’s similar to brioche. If you like a really custardy pudding, reduce the amount of bread. Always use slightly stale bread when making a bread pudding, because it holds the custard better than a fresh loaf. “Tricks of the trade,” as my mom likes to say.
Put the bread cubes in an 8-by-11-in [20-by-28-cm] baking dish. Let the bread sit uncovered overnight (or use day-old bread).
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks, then whisk in the sugar mixture until combined. Add the milk, cream, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the bread cubes into the mixture and carefully fold in with a rubber spatula. Then pour the milk-bread mixture back into the baking dish.
© 2015 Amy Guittard. All rights reserved.