Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding is mixed with dried cherries, maple syrup, whisky, & warm spices. Top it with Maple Whisky Sauce and it’s an elegant dessert!
Back to Custard
I have been on a custard kick as of late…I’ve recently made eggnog and an English Spotted Dick with Vanilla Custard (insert inevitable jokes and sniggers here). So, when I decided to make Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding, I was once again making a variation of créme anglaise (aka vanilla sauce), albeit this time the custard was baked rather than cooked on the stove top. Who’da thunk it?
[Side Note: a version of this post first appeared on my OutlanderCast column, January 25, 2019]
How to make bread pudding
The concept is simple…basically, bread pudding is stale bread soaked in an egg and cream custard, then baked until the custard sets. Think egg custard with mix-ins. There are any number of bread pudding recipes available online…the different recipes are based on the mix-ins you put with the bread, and whether it’s served with a sauce. I adapted my recipe from the one found in the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook by Theresa Carle-Sanders, but I also looked at many other sources as well. Bread pudding sauce is optional (as is putting whisky in both the bread pudding and the sauce), but we all know I don’t shy away from boozy food!
Something to chew, something to crunch
I love contrasting flavors and textures, and adding chocolate chips to bread pudding is just the start. Technically, this dish should be called Cherry Pecan Whisky Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Maple Butterscotch Whisky Sauce, but that’s a bit of a mouthful, don’t you think? What is a mouthful is how well these ingredients go together…chocolate and cherries bring sweetness, toasted pecans add a crunch, and whisky kicks it up a notch. And that silky whisky sauce…well, luckily this recipe makes a lot, so you’ll have leftovers to drizzle on ice cream, cookies, cakes… (we get the picture)
Bread pudding is easy and homey, yet it can be dressed up and become an elegant dessert to serve to your guests. Prep it ahead and pop it in the oven two hours before you want to serve it…you’ll have more time with family and friends to enjoy the holiday season. And who doesn’t want that?
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Maple Whisky Sauce
- 1 loaf french bread (16 oz, 450g), cubed (about 8-10 cups)
- 1 cup dried cherries (5-1/2 oz, 160g), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup pecans (4 oz, 113g), coarsely chopped
- 1 package chocolate chips (12 oz, 340g)
- 1/2 cup butter (4 oz, 113g), melted
- 1 cup dark brown sugar (6-1/2 oz, 185g), lightly packed
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (5-1/2 oz, 156g)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whisky (2 oz, 56g), optional (See Recipe Notes)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, see Recipe Notes
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves, see Recipe Notes
- 2 cups milk (16 oz, 454g), see Recipe Notes
- 1 cup heavy cream (8 oz, 227g)
- 1/2 cup butter (4 oz, 113g)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (3-1/2 oz, 100g), packed
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (5-1/2 oz, 156g)
- 1/4 cup whisky (2 oz, 56g), optional (see Recipe Notes)
- 1 cup heavy cream (8 oz, 227g), warmed
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Move rack to middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a Pyrex 3-qt glass oblong baking dish (2-inch deep 9-inch x 13-inch).
Make the Bread Pudding
- In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, dried cherries, chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup of the pecans. Add the melted butter and toss to coat evenly.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add brown sugar, maple syrup, whisky, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and whisk until combined. Whisk in milk and cream. Pour into bread mixture and mix well. Let sit at least 30 minutes for custard to soak into the bread cubes.
- Pour bread mixture into the buttered baking dish and top with remaining pecans. Bake 40-60 minutes, or until golden brown and custard is almost set (it will finish setting as it cools). Remove from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes.
Make the Whisky Sauce
- While the bread pudding is baking, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and stir until smooth.
- Bring to boil and cook 5 minutes. Stir in whisky (mixture will sizzle) and cook about 30 seconds, then stir in warmed cream and salt. Bring back to boil and cook and stir 1 minute, then remove from heat and let cool.
- To serve, reheat bread pudding at 325°F until warm (if needed). Drizzle the sauce on, then plate and serve with additional sauce on the side. Enjoy!