Anne Rosenzweig’s Chocolate Bread Pudding with Brandy Custard Sauce
From the day the door first opened we have adored Arcadia, Anne Rosenzweig’s Manhattan restaurant. We always finish a meal there with this dessert, which she describes as “a very basic American classic, seemingly unsophisticated and homey but very satisfying,” and which she elevates to new heights by using the most luxurious ingredients.
6 to 8 portions
Total Timeunder 4 hours
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Taste and Texturechocolatey, creamy, rich, sweet
Type of Dishpudding
- 1 loaf brioche (12 inches long), cut into 12 slices
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably Caillebaut
- 3 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 12 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Brandy Custard Sauce (recipe follows)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1/3 cup milk
- ¼ cup brandy
- Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Brush the brioche slices with the melted butter, and toast them on both sides in the oven until golden brown.
Coarsely chop the chocolate, and put the pieces in a small bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water and set aside, allowing the chocolate to melt slowly.
Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan, and heat almost to a boil.
While the cream-milk mixture is heating, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Slowly add the hot cream, whisking constantly. Then strain the mixture into another bowl and skim off any foam. Slowly pour the strained mixture into the melted chocolate, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
Arrange the brioche slices in a 12 × 9-inch baking dish, in two overlapping rows. Pour the chocolate mixture over the brioche, and loosely lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dish. Place a smaller dish on top of the plastic wrap, weighting down the brioche to keep it submerged. Add weights such as soup cans to the smaller dish if necessary. Let stand until the bread is soaked through, 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Remove the weights (if any), the smaller pan, and plastic wrap. Cover the baking dish with foil, and make a few holes in the foil for steam to escape.
Place the baking pan in a larger pan, and fill the larger pan with hot water so that it reaches two thirds of the way up the sides of the baking dish. Transfer the pans to the oven, and bake until the chocolate liquid has been absorbed and the pudding looks glossy, 1¾ hours.
. Spoon a pool of custard sauce onto each plate. Cut the warm pudding into squares, and arrange a square on the sauce. Serve additional sauce on the side.
For the Sauce:
Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes and set aside.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in another mixing bowl, and beat until well blended.
Combine the cream and milk in a heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and gradually add ½ cup of the hot cream to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Slowly whisk the egg mixture back into the saucepan containing the remaining hot cream, and place the pan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the cream begins to thicken (do not let it boil).
Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the brandy and salt. Strain the mixture into a small bowl and cool it quickly by placing the bowl in the bowl with the ice cubes. Serve chilled. Makes about 2 cups
1989 Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins