The following recipe and photography was provided by recipe developer and food photographer, Ashley Durand of Plate & Pen.
Being from Southern Louisiana, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of bread pudding, and while there are a million ways to make it, this Irish-inspired version might be one of my favorites!
The history of bread pudding is actually quite interesting. It originated in Europe as a way to make use of stale bread and eventually made its way over to America where it was considered a “poor man’s dessert” until it become a delicacy in New Orleans.
The great thing about bread pudding it’s that it is basically a blank canvas waiting to be enhanced with all kinds of flavors, like bananas, pumpkin, apples and even savory veggies like onions, mushrooms and kale!
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I dug into this recipe’s European roots and infused traditional bread pudding with a whiskey, coffee and chocolate sauce!
The best thing about this dish, outside of the indulgently sweet sauce, is Heinen’s brioche bread. Available packaged and pre-sliced in the Bakery, it is thick in size, yet light in texture, making it the perfect vessel to soak up the spiced, pudding-like custard.
Finished with an extra drizzle of whiskey chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate chips and mint, this dessert is one you’ll feel lucky to eat!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
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For the Bread Pudding
- 10 cups Heinen’s brioche bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup whiskey sauce (see recipe below)
- 3/4 cup Heinen’s heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup Heinen’s light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. maple extract
- 1 12 oz. can Heinen’s evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp. Heinen’s ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. Heinen’s ground clove
- 1/2 tsp. Heinen’s allspice
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, minced
For the Whiskey Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups Heinen’s light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup brewed coffee
- 1/4 cup Heinen’s unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- 1/3 cup Irish whiskey
- 1/4 cup Heinen’s milk
- 1 cup Heinen’s chocolate chips + 1 tsp. Heinen’s coconut oil
- Start by making the whiskey caramel. Combine the brown sugar, water and coffee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Once dissolved, allow to simmer until the mixture is thickened, about 15-17 minutes. Do not stir.
- Remove from the heat and carefully add the butter and cream cheese, whisking constantly until all clumps are dissolved. The mixture will be very hot and can bubble up, so use caution.
- Stir in the whiskey and milk. Set aside. The chocolate chips and coconut oil will be used in a later step.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Combine the heavy cream, light brown sugar, maple extract, evaporated milk, eggs and 2/3 cup of the whiskey sauce in a large bowl. Stir well with a whisk.
- Add the brioche cubes, using a spatula to submerge and coat each piece of bread.
- Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the top with the sliced almonds and dark chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until set.
- While the bread pudding bakes, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil over a double boiler. Once melted and smooth, mix it into the remaining whiskey sauce.
- Remove the bread pudding from the oven and drizzle the whiskey sauce with melted chocolate over top.
- Garnish with mint, if desired. Serve.