I am usually terrified of making desserts, but this recipe is foolproof—so foolproof, in fact, that I felt comfortable serving it to two professional chefs who've worked in some of the most refined restaurants in the country.
Makes 6 servings
• ½ pound of brioche, challah, or buttery bread, cut into 1-inch cubes • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ¾ stick unsalted butter, melted • 1 cup chocolate milk
• ¾ cup half-and-half • ½ cup sugar
• 3 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks • pinch of salt
• 1 stick unsalted butter • ½ cup dark brown sugar
• 2 teaspoon cinnamon • ¼ cup rum
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mix bread and chocolate chips in a big bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the rest of the ingredients, then pour over the bread and chocolate. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (and up to six hours), pressing the cubes into the mixture to ensure equal absorption.
Put mixture into a buttered glass baking dish (big enough so that the pudding is approximately 2 inches deep) and bake at 350 F for about an hour, or until the pudding is set in the center.
While the pudding is cooking, make the rum sauce: melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then add sugar and cinnamon and mix until dissolved. Add vanilla and rum at the end (be careful, as the sauce may bubble up) and whisk together until smooth.
Serve pudding with a generous amount of sauce poured on top.
*Note: You can refrigerate both sauce and pudding for a day or two, and if you want to, pour the sauce right over the pudding after it comes out of the oven. You can chill it with the sauce on top, so that when you serve it, all you have to do is heat up one thing.