Bread Pudding with Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel

I am pleased to present my latest video. This one is special. This one is personal.
Often times I am asked to let my creativity run wild and make a video for someone... and then the 'suggestions' start rolling in... and the product placement... and the logo placement. Don't get me wrong, I love those. They keep me and my kids fed and they allow me to do what I love for a living, but there is something really wonderful about making a video that plays out exactly as it did in my mind.

This bread pudding video is 2 minutes of sweet, sticky fun. Initially, I had a jazz tune in mind and the video would have been very different. Then I remembered this song that I had tucked away. When I reviewed it, I knew it was the one. Bread pudding isn't fussy and sophisticated. It's hands on, down home, gritty goodness. I think you'll agree after viewing.

As for the recipe, it is simple and delicious. It doesn't take long to prepare except for letting the bread soak overnight. In fact, in some regions that step is omitted. I'll leave that up to you.

The chocolate caramel sauce is ridiculous. Even if you don't make the bread pudding, make this sauce and keep it in the fridge for ice cream, waffles, or whatever. It's SO good.

I hope you enjoy the video. Please share your comments with me. I'd love to know what you think. I'll be using this video for promotional purposes for next year. If you love it, I'd be ever so grateful if you would share it with your friends.

savour... sweet and sticky


Before you start:

For best results use a baguette that is at least a day old. The dried out bread will better soak up the egg mixture.

It is critical that you swirl the pan when making the caramel. Don't stir.

When you add the cream, you may get some sputtering and bubbling. That is to be expected and it will subside quickly. Whisk on.

The ingredients:

For the bread pudding:

  • 1 baguette
  • 2 cups half and half / 470ml
  • 7 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar / 170g
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup brown sugar / 150g
  • butter for greasing ramekins
  • water for baking

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups sugar / 450g
  • ½ cup water / 120ml
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature / 115g
  • 1 cup heavy cream / 235ml
  • 1 cup dark bittersweet chocolate / 175g
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon fleur de sel 

The method:

For the bread pudding:

  1. Cut the baguette in half lengthwise and then into strips. Cut the strips into 1” cubes. Set aside.
  2. Mix the half and half, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar together in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs until well blended in a large mixing bowl. Add the half and half mixture and whisk until well combined.
  4. Place the bread cubes in a casserole dish and pour the liquid over them. Toss the bread cubes in the liquid to coat. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  6. Grease ramekins with butter. Toss the cubes again and then fill the ramekins with cubes. Do not overfill as they will rise slightly.
  7. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and fill with hot water to halfway up the side of the ramekins. Sprinkle the tops of the cubes with brown sugar.
  8. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. The internal temperature should reach 170˚F on a quick read thermometer.
  9. Remove from the oven and carefully remove from the hot water. Cool slightly before topping with sauce and serving.

For the sauce:

  1. Add sugar and water to a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and swirl until the sugar has dissolved. 
  2. When the syrup reaches the boiling point continue to swirl occasionally until it turns a light amber color (about 10-12 minutes). When it becomes light amber, swirl continuously until it becomes dark amber.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat immediately and add butter, stirring until smooth. Add the cream and whisk until smooth. Add the chocolate and whisk again until smooth. Finally, add the vanilla and fleur de sel.
  4. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.