Pumpkin Chocolate Loaf transcends itself in this extravagantly rich bread pudding. Chocolate and pumpkin are a sublime flavor combination epitomized in this double dose of each. Slices of the loaf are swathed in spiced pumpkin custard with chocolate chunks melted in. This is a welcome dessert on the holiday table and may become a new tradition at your house.
For the pumpkin custard:
- 4 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
- 3 cups of half and half
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 loaf of Pumpkin Chocolate Loaf
- 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks
- 3/4 cup whipped cream or crème fraiche, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 2 quart shallow oval or round baking dish. Place the dish in a larger pan that will act as a bain marie.
- In a mixer bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and egg yolks until they are frothy. Slowly add the sugar and beat the mixture until it is thick and lemon colored. Add the pumpkin puree and half and half to the egg mixture, reducing the speed to low. Add the vanilla extract and the pumpkin pie spice.
- Slice the pumpkin chocolate loaf into 1/8 inch slices and place the slices overlapping to fill the baking dish.
- Ladle the custard mixture over the pumpkin bread slices until the baking dish is filled to the top. Place the chocolate chunks all around the pudding, making sure that they are evenly distributed.
- Pour enough boiling water around the larger baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Place the pudding in the oven and bake it for 40-45 minutes.
- Open the oven using heavy oven mitts and with a large spoon push the bread down. The liquid custard will rise. Spoon the custard over the bread slices evenly.
- Bake for about 10 more minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out barely clean.
- Remove the pudding from the oven, sprinkle it with powdered sugar and cut it into squares. Serve with crème fraiche or whipped cream, if desired.
Advance Preparation: Can be made 1 day in advance through step 3. Refrigerate the custard and bring to room temperature before assembling. You may also prepare the dish through step 5 up to 1 day in advance and refrigerate it before cooking. It will be a bit less custardy since the bread will have absorbed the custard.
Diane Rossen Worthington
Tribune Content Agency Syndicated Columnist
James Beard Award Winner Best Radio Show
James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards