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Boozy Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

Chocolate-Orange Bread Puddings ready to serveBoozy Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

I don’t have to tell any of you who live in the Northeast just how miserable and cold it has been these first few weeks of 2014.  This provides a great excuse to make all sorts of creamy, heavy, filling dishes to try to warm up our bodies and souls.  The first Sunday of Season 4 of Downton Abbey, I hosted a few friends at my place to watch the show.  They came over with bottles of wine, and I put together a few snacks for us to munch on while we caught up on the latest dramas and antics in the lives of the Crawley family.  For dessert, I made these Boozy Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding for us to enjoy (and as a way to use leftover brioche bread to clear up room in my freezer, one of my 2014 goals).

IngredientsIngredients for bread pudding

Chocolate and Orange are one of my favorite flavor combinations.  Add to that the custard mix, some buttery-rich brioche bread, and a healthy shot of orange liqueur, and you have the simplest of desserts that all comes together very quickly.  This is a perfect dish to whip up for a dinner party as well or even an impromptu dinner for two.  I’m almost tempted to break into the other full loaf of brioche bread in my freezer to make some more of these, but this time, I might not share them!

Boozy Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

Prep time:  A little bit over an hour

Serving size: 6 ramekins

Ingredients:

2 Large Eggs

2 Tbsp. White Sugar

1/3 c. Heavy Cream

2/3 c. Whole Milk

1/4 c. Orange Liqueur (like Gran Marnier or Cointreau)

1 pinch Salt

Butter for greasing ramekins

3 c. Cubes of Brioche bread (about 1/2-inch in size)

Zest of 1/2 an Orange

1/2 bar of Semi-sweet Chocolate (use whatever you have on hand), grated

Assembly:

Whisking up fillingFilling mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Whisk together eggs and sugar in a bowl until they are thoroughly combined.  Add heavy cream, milk, orange liqueur, and salt.  Whisk these items together.  Set aside for a moment while assembling the bread puddings.

Buttering ramekinsButtering ramekins

Lightly grease each ramekin with butter.  For a hint as to how to make this messy job a bit easier, see Kitchen Witch Tips for a suggestion here.  Divide the brioche bread cubes into equal amounts and distribute them among the ramekins.  Sprinkle the top of each bread-filled ramekin with a bit of orange peel and some of the chocolate shavings.

Bread Puddings ready for the ovenBread Puddings ready for the oven

Pour the custard over each of the ramekins, making sure to get the liquid in all of the corners of the puddings and to cover as much of the bread as possible.  Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes to make sure the custard is absorbed into the bread.  Put in the oven on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Chocolate-Orange Bread Puddings ready to serveBoozy Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes before attempting to eat one.  You can also make these a bit in advance and reheat them just before serving.

Buon appetito!