At a minimum, all you need to make bread pudding is some form of day-old bread (of course), eggs, sweetener of your choice, and a liquid for soaking the bread—typically milk or cream. From there you can get as creative as you like. I’ve swapped out some of the cream and replaced it with a favorite coffee porter aged in bourbon and rye whiskey oak casks, which lends roast-y and toasty notes to this version of bread pudding.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a baking dish large enough to accommodate the bread.
- Bring the porter/stout, cream, and ¾ cup sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Add ¾ cup chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the custard on top. Let sit 30 minutes to allow bread to absorb the custard.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chopped chocolate in the bottom of the baking dish. Transfer the bread mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.
- Bake until the custard thickens and the center is just set, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.