Have you ever cooked or baked something really really simple (and easy), and it tasted like a 5 star food?? If you haven’t had this experience, look no further, this recipe is it!! I even told my cousin it’s so simple you can make this blindfolded, wait, even your dog can make this!! (ok, maybe not, but you understand what I’m trying to say). This recipes came from Fine Cooking (no surprise there).
8 slices good-quality American-style white bread (about 8 oz.)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened; more for the ramekins
1/3 cup orange marmalade
3 oz. (1/2 cup) chopped semisweet chocolate (or 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter four 1-1/4-cup ramekins. Remove the crusts from the bread and spread one side with the butter and marmalade. Cut the bread into quarters and arrange four quarters in the base of each ramekin, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle with half of the chocolate and repeat with the remaining bread and chocolate to make two layers.
Whisk the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
You can assemble the bread puddings and keep them in the refrigerator up to a day ahead. Remove them from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, let them come up to room temperature, and bake them when ready to serve.
My opinion: Wow, wow, wow!! I’m not a huge bread pudding person, but this captured my heart!! You know how brownies are kind of crispy around the edges and soft and gooey in the middle? This bread pudding is like that too, except when you eat the middle part it’s almost like biting into a piece of heaven (exaggeration? I don’t think so…). I didn’t put all the chocolate chips in the recipe (I didn’t want the chocolate to take over the taste).
I also did not have a large enough ramekin, so I just used a 2 quart (1.8 liter) oven proof container. I also made another batch with rye and wheat bread with sour cherry jam. It still tasted good, but if you want the fluffy texture, stick to white bread!! Also, even though you can use any type of jam, I will stick to the sweet/tart kind, such as marmalade, quince and other citrus based jams. I would think lemon curd will go well with this too.