Pam Heironimus has made chocolate bread pudding for years, and she’s found a way to make an already delicious dessert more decadent: amaretto liqueur.
“I’ve made bread pudding for 30 years, but this took it to another level,” she says.
This is an “ooey, gooey, soft, and chewy” mix of homestyle bread, creamy custard, and rich chocolate, “perfect for when the weather’s still a little chilly,” Heironimus says. “It’s something warm and comforting.”
Amaretto Chocolate Bread Pudding
Recipe by Pam Heironimus
Prep and cook time: About 60 minutes
Makes about 8 servings
Stir together 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch in a saucepan, and then blend in 2.5 cups whole milk. Heat on medium heat for about seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly foaming. Pull off the heat and, into a separate bowl, temper two eggs by putting 1/4 cup of the heated mixture into the bowl, and once the eggs are heated, return it to the saucepan. Add 2 Tbsp of chilled real butter and 1 tsp of vanilla. Return the sauce to low heat and let it thicken for three minutes. Then pull the pan off the heat, pour the sauce into a separate bowl, and allow it to cool. Cover the bowl with film wrap and put it in the fridge to chill.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread half a cup of blanched, sliced almonds across it. Drizzle 1/2 tsp of olive oil over the almonds and then sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of kosher salt. Mix the almonds well to coat them, and then bake at 350 degrees for six minutes.
Select a 1.18-pound loaf of homestyle bread, take out three-fourths of the slices, and use 1 stick of room-temperature salted butter to coat one side of each of those slices. Then, cut each slice of buttered bread into 1-inch cubes (should make about 8 cups of bread). In a separate bowl, mix 3/4 cup of Ghirardelli cocoa powder and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Then add 1/8 tsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of cinnamon. In a large mixing bowl, add three large eggs, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1/4 cup of amaretto liqueur, and 2.5 cups of whole milk. Whisk in dry ingredients and then add buttered bread cubes, stir well, and let stand for 10 minutes. Grease a 2.5-quart baking dish, then pour in half the bread pudding mixture. Sprinkle a half cup of Ghirardelli chocolate chips on it and pour the rest of the mixture into the pan. Bake for 45 minutes. It’s important to fold the chips into the mixture; they’ll burn if left on top.
When plating, spoon the custard sauce over the bread pudding and top with toasted almonds. Pair with coffee for a well-rounded treat.