This bread pudding is heavenly and sinful at the same time. I use dense rich challah that sets into a creamy soft custard. But it’s the chocolate and raisins layered in between the slices of bread that really make the dish. Of course, some more fresh vanilla cream on top doesn’t hurt either.—Dave Lieberman
For the bread pudding
1 quart whole milk, warmed
8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 challah, cut into 1 1/2-inch slices
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
For the vanilla cream
2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
Make the bread pudding
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Combine the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until incorporated and smooth, but don’t over-whisk.
3. Line a baking dish with two-thirds of the challah slices, lining the edges too. Sprinkle with half the chocolate chips and half the raisins. Cover with the remaining challah slices, layering them one on top of the other. Top with the remaining chocolate chips and raisins, making sure the chips and raisins get inside the layers created by the challah slices. Pour the milk mixture over the top of everything.
4. Wrap the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 50 minutes, then remove the foil and cook 15 minutes longer, until set in the middle and lightly browned on top.
Make the cream
1. Combine the half-and-half, vanilla, and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking regularly, until steaming hot.
2. Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and gradually add the hot half-and-half mixture to the egg yolks, whisking vigorously all the while. When all the half-and-half mixture has been whisked into the egg yolks, return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens.
3. Spoon over the pudding and serve.
Recipe © 2006 by David Lieberman. All rights reserved.