Margarita's International Recipes


Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

I don't know how "Californian" bread pudding is, but I've had it served at several good restaurants in the area. Besides, bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts. The chocolate bread pudding at Adagia, in particular, is out of this world - and while I didn't think I could replicate it, I was willing to give this recipe (from the Napa River Inn) a try. Alas, it was nowhere as good.

The recipe was a lot of work, it required first making the chocolate bread, then toasting it, then making the pudding, and then baking the two together - a whole day affair. I followed it pretty closely, though I had to guess at oven temperatures, as the recipe didn't specify. I also didn't have bittersweet chocolate so I used a combination of semi-sweet and 70% cacao chocolate. I also didn't have cake flour so I used a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch - if you have cake flour, use 1 1/4 cups of such. Finally, I substituted half a vanilla bean with 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.

The results were good but not outstanding - it was definitely too much work for what I got at the end. I also don't think that the results are worth the calories. I don't think I'll make it again. But I'll (slowly) eat what I made quite happily.

This recipe makes more pudding that you will need for the bread - I poured the rest into a large ramekin and cooked it along with the bread pudding.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding


For the bread

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp. boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 13 Tbsp. butter, softened

For the pudding

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 8 yolks
  • 1 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Let cool. Add the vanilla and the eggs and mix. Set aside.

Combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a mixer, and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and half the chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until moistened. Scrape the sides and mix on medium speed for 90 seconds. Scrape and add half of the remaining chocolate mixture. Mix for 30 seconds. Scrape and add the rest of the chocolate mixture and mix for another 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out dry. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.

Remove the bread from the pan and cut it into 1" cubes. Put bread in a baking sheet and toast it in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until dry. Remove and let cool again. Put the bread pieces into ramekins (I had enough bread for about 10 small ramekins).

Prepare the pudding. In a medium-size heavy pot, mix the cream, milk and vanilla. Heat the mixture and remove from heat right before it boils. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over very low heat in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Set both aside.

Whisk the yolks with the sugar and temper with a little of the hot cream mixture. Add the remaining mixture to the yolks and mix well. Add the chocolate to the egg mixture, a little bit at the time, mixing. Strain the mixture.

Preheat oven to 350F again

Pour the pudding on top of the bread and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool for about 30 minutes. Uncover and cover each ramekin with aluminum foil. Fill a large roasting pan with about 1" of water and place the ramekins in it. Bake until the custard sets, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes, until the top is dark. Remove.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Linda & Steve Baurer Recipes from Historic California: A Restaurant Guide and Cookbook

Californian Recipes | Margarita's International Recipes | E-mail