Since my husband and I moved into our first home yesterday, getting acclimated to our new surroundings has been all about “comfort” lately. We’ve got comfortable new furniture, comforting words from friends and family, and of course, plenty of good comfort food. Pot pies and pork tenderloins are nice and all, but when it comes to comfort, bread pudding is it for me.
Soft, warm and just like getting a big hug from a bowl, bread pudding never disappoints. It’s a tasty, cozy treat and a cinch to whip up with this easy recipe. Just heat some milk and toss in a few cups of cubed bread, then add cocoa powder, sugar and an egg yolk. Next goes in the vanilla extract (I like to use homemade), a tablespoon of butter and a single egg white. Pour the batter into individual ramekins for 3 servings, or into a baking dish for an extra helping. The baking times are the same for both methods, but any way you slice it, this bread pudding is dang delicious!
I like to top mine with homemade vanilla whipped cream (the recipe is included) and a spoonful of strawberries, but you could instead use caramel sauce and any fruit you like. As an easy weeknight treat or a fancy yet down-home dessert for dinner guests, there’s nothing better!
Easy Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Whipped Cream
Yield: Serves 3-4
1 cup milk
3 cups crusty bread, crusts removed, cubed (I used a baguette)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
In a large, heatproof bowl, pour milk. Microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until scalding hot. Carefully remove from microwave. Add bread to the bowl and toss until smooth and slightly textured. Add sugar, cocoa powder, and egg yolk. Beat until well blended. Add butter and vanilla. Fold in beaten egg whites.
Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish or 3 (4-ounce) ramekins. Set dish in a pan with about an inch of hot water. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, or until firm.
In the meantime, prepare the whipped cream. In a medium-sized bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until soft peaks form. Store in the refrigerator.
Let bread pudding cool for about 30 minutes and then top with vanilla whipped cream. Serve.