I've always hated wasting food, but since starting Blog Away Hunger I've been even more conscientious about using scraps that would normally see the inside of the bin. After making a summer berry pudding, I had a whole loaf worth of brioche crusts left over and pondered how I could put the buttery caramelized crusts to use. A quick scan of the pantry and fridge revealed a nearly empty jar of Nutella, an over-ripe banana, milk, cream and eggs. All the makings for a chocolate brioche pudding!
In restaurants, bread pudding isn't very high up on my list of things I'd order. They're often dried out and rubbery, closer in texture and taste to a buffet-line scrambled egg than the luscious dessert the name promises. This self-sweetened, self-saucing brioche pudding cobbled together from pantry staples and scraps turns the traditional notion of a bread pudding on its head. Swaths of buttery brioche crust are enrobed in a fragrant chocolaty custard, holding bits of tender sweet fruit in its folds. I used banana because it was well past its prime, but this would be just as good with raspberries, blueberries, or whatever fruit you happen to have on hand.
To combat dryness, I started with a higher liquid to bread ratio than most bread pudding recipes. When you first add the brioche to the liquid, it will float around on top like cereal in a bowl of milk, but most of it will soak into the brioche while it rests. To prevent the rubbery texture and eggy flavour, I've used a higher ratio of milk to eggs, making a looser custard that relies on the brioche for structure.
- Whisk the milk, eggs, Nutella, and rose water together together in a bowl. Add the brioche and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or preferably overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice up the banana and toss with the soaked brioche. Spread the bread and bananas in an even layer in a square 9 x 9 baking pan and pour over any remaining liquid from the bowl. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F in the center of the pudding (it may still be a bit jiggly in the middle).
- Whip the cream until it starts to firm up, then add the powdered sugar and rose water and continue to whip until it's firm.
- You can serve the pudding right away (when it's still saucy), or wait till it cools to room temperature and sets up a bit more. To serve, slice and scoop the pudding onto plates and top with a dollop of rose flavoured cream.