Food isn’t always about what ends up on the plate. For me, it’s about the process of preparing that dish. It’s about the people I get to share it with, where the ingredients originated, who passed along that recipe to me or how it morphed and changed in my kitchen.
This recipe started with four failed loaves of bread I had attempted to bake. Apparently the yeast I used had become inactive, the loaves didn’t rise properly and they were extremely dense. In an attempt to salvage all those ingredients, the “failed” bread eventually transformed into two trays of decadent bread pudding – one flavored with cranberries and an orange and the other this chocolatey, coffee-infused version.
I made enough bread pudding to feed a crowd and had to laugh when I realized my husband and I were the only ones at our house to enjoy it. (Thankfully we have family who lives nearby and they were able to polish off a tray for us.) I’ve never really learned how to cook for only two people – there’s just something that makes me automatically assume every recipe should be at least doubled.
This Mocha Bread Pudding is homey, casual and best eaten with a few napkins at arm’s reach. Make sure there’s a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to accompany the warm, creamy custard and velvety chocolate. A hint of coffee in the pudding marries well with a freshly brewed cup o’ joe. It’s a family style dessert – one that I can picture enjoying in front of the fireplace, during a game night with loved ones or when you’re snowed in and craving a comforting treat.
Now for the giveaway! I love the traditional route of starting my day off with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and I also enjoy playing around with ways to incorporate coffee into recipes. Whether it’s bread pudding, granola or cupcakes, coffee takes it to the next level.
We want to spread that love of coffee with you (just in time for Christmas!), so we’re partnering with FreshGround to give away two $25 gift cards that are good for anything on their site, from freshly roasted beans to a new Baratza Precisio grinder. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below!
Mocha Bread Pudding
Yields about 10 servings
1 lb day old bread such as brioche or challah, cubed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
3 cups half and half or milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
¾ cup triple strength coffee or coffee concentrate (I recommend FreshGround’s Sumatra or Honduras)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 pan. Toss bread cubes with chocolate chunks and add to 9×13 pan.
2. Lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour egg mixture over the bread. Press bread down if necessary to make sure all the cubes soak up the liquid. Let sit for 30-45 minutes so that the bread soaks up the liquid. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the pudding overnight. Just bring it to room temperature before baking.
4. Bake uncovered for about 45-50 minutes, or until eggs have set. Remove from the oven and allow the bread pudding to sit for about 10 minutes. Serve while still warm with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream.