I inventoried our basement freezer this weekend and way back on the top shelf where I keep bread products, I found a loaf of chocolate babka. Not any chocolate babka, but babka from Zabar’s in NYC. Grace sent it in a gift box for my mom’s birthday in September; since we had lots of chocolate babka left over from when she came in August for our trip to the shore, I had popped this goodie into the freezer.
I decided it would be a perfect candidate for bread pudding. Think about that– layers of chocolate and bread, soaked in a custard and baked til fluffy and creamy with a chocolate brown crust. I usually make my bread pudding from a one pound loaf of French bread or challah, so I knew how much eggs and milk to use; I reduced the amount of sugar I used and just for fun, used dark brown instead of regular white granulated sugar. The pudding bakes low and slow for over an hour until a knife slipped into the center comes out clean.
Chocolate Babka Bread Pudding
- 1 loaf of chocolate babka (at least 1 lb, my loaf was 22 oz)
- 5 eggs
- 4 cups of half and half (or any combination with milk and cream)
- 1/2 c dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 TB vanilla
Cut up the babka into 1 inch chunks/cubes:
In a medium mixing bowl (I used a batter bowl measuring cup) beat 5 eggs, then add the half and half.
Add the brown sugar and whisk until dissolved:
Add the cinnamon and vanilla and blend again:
Place the babka pieces into a casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray, then pour the custard over the cubes. Use a spoon to ensure all cubes are soaked in the custard. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place pudding in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes, or until pudding is brown and puffy, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool briefly, then serve. You can also cool and refrigerate; slice or scoop out portions and reheat to serve.