Studded with diced prunes and chocolate pieces and gently flavored with orange zest, this bread pudding stands out from similar recipes. Serve it alone or with crème fraîche.
Yield: 8 servings
420 ml /1 3/4 cups whole milk
200 g /1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate pieces or chips
145 g / 3 1/2 cups bread cubes from brioche or challah
200 g / 1 1/2 cups Diced Dried Plums
4 large eggs
50 g / 1/4 cup sugar
1 g / 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 g / 1/4 teaspoon salt
10 g / 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 g / 1 tablespoon orange zest
Pour the milk into a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Put 150 g / 3/4 cup chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the milk over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted into the milk. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat an oven to 350F. Butter a 2-quart baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 150 g /2 cup chocolate with the bread and plums. Evenly distribute the mixture in the prepared pan.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and zest. Whisk in the chocolate milk. Pour the mixture over the bread and let sit for 15 minutes so the bread can absorb the custard.
Bake until the custard is nearly set, about 35 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.