Best Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

by ....RaeDi

A while back I made some Orange Marmalade and some Brioche Bread and Brioche cups to go with.  I had mentioned that I would love to have some bread pudding made from any leftover Brioche Bread, as I wrote that I had figured there probably would not be a crumb left, but was surprised to find I had enough left for the bread pudding after all.

Then I begin my search for a good Brioche Bread Pudding recipe and found one.  I have a recipe that I have used but wanted to step it up a bit.  It did not take me long with Google to find a recipe that sounded good, actually it sounded spectacular to say the least.

Jun at JunBlog had a very descriptive narration on this Brioche Bread Pudding that sold me.  The recipe she got from Tartine’s.  There are some wonderful pictures of how the pudding was made and the use of fresh fruit topping on the finished dish.  It sure looked good.   So I was game to try it myself.   Boy am I glad that I did, spectacular was putting it mildly.  It far exceeded anything I could have dreamt of.   It was so delicious, stunning, and was so impressive to say the least.  I will be making this again and again.

Thank you Jun, this is one of the best recipe finds I have found in a while.  I cannot say enough good about this dish.  The pictures do not do it justice.  It just melts in your mouth.  It did not last long in my house that is for sure.    I will be bragging about this bread pudding forever, I have already given the recipe out countless times.

I hope you take the time to make some; there are not enough words to give this extraordinary bread pudding all that it deserves.   The only changes I made were to add dried tart cherries, dried cranberries (both from Nuts Online), raisins and some pecans.  I used some Egg Beaters for half of the eggs and it tasted just like I had used all fresh eggs.

For the Brioche Bread Pudding, makes 10 ~ 12 servings:

  • 6 Brioche slices, cut 1-inch thick – I used my leftover 4 Brioche Cups and a few slice of Brioche Bread
  • 8 Large Eggs – I used 4 eggs and ¼ cup Egg Beaters for each of the four eggs I was not using 1 Cup Total for the Egg Beaters
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 ½  Tsp Vanilla
  • ½  Tsp Salt
  • + ½ Cup  dried tart cherries
  • + ½ Cup Dried Cranberries
  • + ½ Cup Raisins
  • + ¼ Cup Pecans
  • + Small Dash of Fresh Ground Nutmeg

For the Caramel Sauce, makes 1-1/2 cups:

2/3   Cup Heavy Cream
¼  of One Vanilla Bean
1 ¼ Cup Sugar
¼  Cup Water
¼  Tsp Salt
2  Tbsp Light Corn Syrup
3/4 Tsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

Making the Brioche Bread Pudding:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I buttered my 12.5 x 3.5 x 2.5 dish.   I arranged the brioche slices on a baking sheet. I cut the tops off of the brioche cups and put on baking sheet too (tops down to toast the cut sides of the brioche cups.)  Place in the oven until lightly toasted. I removed from the oven and set aside to cool.

I whisked the 4 eggs and added the cup of egg beaters and whisk to blend.  Add the sugar and whisk until smooth.  Add the milk, vanilla and salt then whisk until completely blended.  Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve.

I placed the toasted brioche slices in my baking dish, cutting them so they would fit as needed (it was like putting together a puzzle,) as I layered the bread and I put a mix of the dried fruit and nuts scattering them about the dish for an even distribution.  I used the four tops of the Brioche cups for the top layer and filled in around them with bread pieces.   I poured the custard evenly over the bread and fruits to the top.  I waited the 10 minutes or so until the bread had soaked up the custard and kept adding until I had used all of the custard.  The bread will absorb all the custard.  Once all the custard was absorbed I added some dried fruit in a pattern on top.   I put a little ~ very little dash of fresh ground nutmeg on top once everything was in place.  You do not want to add too much nutmeg; it is very over-riding if you do.

I covered the dish with aluminum foil and placed in oven and baked the bread pudding for about an hour.  The custard will be still a little moist when done, I used a long pick and stuck it in the middle and when it came out clean it was done.  The custard will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven and it will set up as it cools.

Let the bread pudding cool for about 20 minutes before serving.  I sliced it and used a spatula to remove the slices from my baking dish.  You can just serve it with a serving spoon if you want do whichever way you like.

Once I had the slices on the dessert plates I then drizzled the caramel sauce over the top of each piece.  You can add fresh fruit or even put a dollop of whip cream when you serve.

If you have left over bread pudding, the cookbook suggests chilling it, slicing it, and frying it as you would French toast.  I did not get to try that this time; there were no left-overs.  However, I will be making this bread pudding again and maybe next time I will get to make the French-Toast with any of the left-overs.


To make the Caramel Sauce:

These are the directions Jun gave and they worked so why mess with a good thing:

Pour the cream into a small, heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the pod halves into the cream. Place over medium-high heat and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low to keep the cream warm.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, salt and corn syrup. Use a good-sized pan because the caramel will boil vigorously and the volume will increase dramatically as soon as the hot cream is added. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then let the mixture boil, without stirring, until the mixture is amber colored. Watch the sugar mixture carefully as it cooks to avoid burning the sugar. From the time the mixture started to boil, it took over 15 minutes to reach an amber color. Remove from the heat.

The mixture will continue to cook off the heat and become darker, so make sure to have the cream close by. Carefully and slowly add the cream to the sugar syrup. The mixture will boil vigorously at first. Let the mixture simmer down, and then whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Cut the butter into 1-inch chunks and add them to the caramel one at a time, whisking constantly after each addition. Then whisk the caramel periodically as it continues to cool.

Pour the caramel sauce in an airtight container such as a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. This will keep for up to a month.

This caramel is good heated and put on ice cream, the other day I used it to make some Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nuts Tarts.  Recipe will be posted soon.  They were delicious too.   I still have left-over caramel sauce and it will be completely used by the date needed.  I put the date on the top of the jar that I stored it in so will know to the day precisely….