In this decadent, Valentine’s Day-worthy dessert, bread cubes are soaked in a rich chocolate custard and layered with more chocolate before being baked and served warm with a drizzle of raspberry sauce.
As we head into the homestretch of January, I think it’s high time for a Valentine’s Day-friendly recipe, wouldn’t you agree? And friends, today I have a good one for you. As if plain ol’ bread pudding wasn’t delicious enough, this one is infused with chocolate and accented by a glossy raspberry sauce. But the best part? Not only is this recipe scrumptious and impressive, it is also deceptively simple to whip up.
For me, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate. And while chocolate pairs beautifully with so many flavors, raspberry is one of my favorites. Like most bread puddings, this one starts out with stale cubes of French bread. But then something special happens when melted chocolate is whisked into the bread-soaking custard. To elevate things yet another notch, a handful of chocolate chips is sprinkled between layers of soaked bread so that the resulting bread pudding flaunts a streak of melted chocolate when you scoop into it.
This bread pudding is amazing served warm straight out of the oven, with the bread cubes chewy in some places and gooey in others, and melted chocolate ribboned throughout. But what puts it over the top is a drizzle of raspberry sauce and a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Now pardon me for a moment while I make two confessions. First off, I baked this bread pudding during my baby’s (short) nap and then took pictures in the (short) span of time between picking up my 4-year-old from preschool and my 6-year-old from elementary school. This meant that, unfortunately, I ran out of time to make whipped cream. So please…just pretend that it’s there, and rest assured that when we later enjoyed this bread pudding for dessert, I made amends for my earlier transgressions by whipping up some cream.
My second admission is evident by the photos as well: I couldn’t find raspberries at the store, so I instead had to use strawberries to style this bread pudding. You probably don’t care and likely didn’t even notice, but my perfectionist tendencies are bothered by the discordance of the berry sauce not matching the berry garnish. One day I will seek therapy for my issues, but for today, I just had to get that off my chest. If you know that I know that things don’t match, that makes it okay…right? 😉
So in summary? It will make me feel better if you would just visualize this chocolatey dessert garnished with a scattering of raspberries and dolloped with a mound of soft, freshly whipped cream. Thank you for humoring your resident crazy, Type-A food blogger.
However, if worrying about potential berry clashing gives you a headache (much like the previous two paragraphs probably did), then I have another alternative for you. You can easily turn this recipe into an adults-only Kahlua Chocolate Bread Pudding by swapping out Kahlua for 1/2 cup of the milk. And you can even take it a step further by beating a couple of teaspoons of that tasty coffee liqueur into some heavy cream (which I know you’ll be whipping up in a timely fashion) to make Kahlua Whipped Cream. YUM.
Speaking of coffee, I like to add a small bit of instant coffee granules (or instant espresso powder) to chocolate based-recipes like brownies and such. You don’t really end up tasting the coffee undertone; rather, this trick just gives a bit of extra depth to the chocolate flavor.
And the fancy raspberry sauce that surely requires a multi-step process of cooking and straining fresh berries? Nah. Just use seedless raspberry jam that’s been warmed up until it’s thin enough to drizzle. Did I not tell y’all this recipe was easy?!
One last warning before I curtail the babbling and share the recipe…make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature for this one! If that means soaking your eggs in a bowl of warm water and zapping your milk and cream for a few seconds in the microwave to take off the chill, so be it. Because what do you suppose happens when you stir melted chocolate into a bowl of cold milk/cream/egg custard? Well, I’ll tell you what happens. The liquid chocolate instantly re-solidifies into hard little shards of solid chocolate. Not that that’s happened to me or anything. Just
learn from my mistakes take it from me…save yourself the headache of having to equalize temperatures after the fact and make sure that none of your ingredients are cold from the get-go.
Now who’s ready for the best bread pudding you’ve ever had? Make it for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day…because nothing says ‘I love you’ like chocolate!
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