Brioche Bread Pudding

Christmas Pudding, Christmas Pudding,
Steaming hot, steaming hot,
Sprinkle on the sugar, sprinkle on the sugar,
Eat it up, eat it up.

(Sung to the tune of  Frere Jacques)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my blog visitors. I hope you are celebrating this wonderful holiday with good food, good company and good Holiday cheer. I had a small but very cozy Christmas dinner with family last night.  Fire was roaring in family room, tree was looking beautiful and to complete the holiday scene,  there was warm bread pudding waiting for us on the kitchen counter top.

This bread pudding recipe is  from Tyler Florence. I used Orange Fondant instead of Lemon fondant. This is one of the best bread puddings I have tasted. Finding Brioche bread was not easy. I finally found it at Trader Joe’s here in Pleasanton. Brioche bread is basically french bread with high egg and butter content which makes it a bit dense and glossy. Ideally you want to bakes these in individual ramekins but a bread loaf pan works well too.

Ingredients

  • Butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus more for dusting and topping
  • 4 large slices brioche bread
  • 2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), plus more for garnish

Lemon/Orange Fondant:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (I substituted 1 orange for lemons)

Directions

Butter and sugar 6 (6-ounce) ramekins or 1 medium size bread loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and sugar. Combine well with a whisk – then let it settle so there are no air bubbles on the surface otherwise these will cause lumps in your anglaise.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the brioche up into large pieces using your hands, add to the custard mixture and toss to combine. Equally divide the berries among the ramekins and top with the bread mixture. Gently press down so they are packed evenly. Sprinkle with more sugar, then refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to let soak.

Bake for 25 minutes in the center of the oven. The pudding is ready when it has puffed up and the custard is set. The top should be a nice golden color. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Make the fondant. In a mixing bowl combine sifted powdered sugar, water, lemon zest and juice.

Once the pudding has cooled slightly, invert onto an individual serving plate. Drizzle the lemon fondant over warm bread pudding and serve with extra fresh berries.

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