For the last few years, Hanukkah has fallen during a fairly inconvenient time within the holiday season. Seriously, last year, Hanukkah was three days after Thanksgiving! Since the celebration of Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday, and what we really like is the fun time with family, we’ve created “Nonukkah” or a “ninth night” when we can all get together, exchange gifts, and have fun.
This year, our Ninth Night was at our house, and I had a blast making latkes and cookie meatballs for the people we had over. We had a few other family-traditional things as well (hot dogs and baked beans!) but it was up to me to decide dessert.
Believe it or not, I didn’t want to make cupcakes. Or cookies. I wanted something I could make and serve in one pan without the annoyance of having to clean my mixer between cake and frosting, or roll out cookies, or make anything plated. I wanted comfort, convenience, and decadence.
I mean, really. What’s a dinner of fried potatoes if not followed up with a great and rich dessert?!
Enter Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bread Pudding
Butter. Chocolate. Eggs. Challah. Milk. Cream. Sugar.
Just reading this recipe may make your thighs expand, but I promise you it’s worth it.
Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bread Pudding
Ingredients (Serves 10)
For the Caramel
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 8 Tablespoons butter
For the pudding
- 6 1/2 cups cubed challah or brioche
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)
For the caramel
- Mix the sugar, salt, vanilla, and water together in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
- Set out your butter and cream.
- Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, DO NOT STIR!!
- Boil the sugar mixture until a caramel color develops. This happens quickly, so keep a close eye on it!
- Stir in the cream and butter, and whisk until the foaming goes down. Simmer until it looks like caramel (a light brown color) and transfer to a heat-safe container (NOT GLASS!!!!)
For the bread pudding
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter. Make sure each cube has at least some butter on it.
- Layer in a large baking dish: Half the bread cubes, half the chocolate chips, the other half of the bread, and the rest of the chocolate chips.
- Mix in a bowl: milk, eggs, vanilla, and sugar
- Pour the milk mixture over the bread. Allow it to sit a few minutes, pressing down on the bread to allow all of it to soak up some of the milk mixture.
- Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the pudding no longer jiggles and the top is brown.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the pudding, return to the oven for about 10 minutes, then serve with fresh whipped cream.