This Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding brings the right amounts of sweet and heat.

My sweet side loves the mixture of chocolates, heavy cream and that sprinkling of raw sugar on top. But my Inner Spice Girl (Posh, definitely) is all about the cinnamon sticks and dried hot chiles.

Oh, and that splash of bourbon.

I’m not sure whether this dessert is naughty, nice or nicely naughty, but it’s the perfect creamy, chocolaty, spicy antidote for a cold, rainy day.

Or a head cold.

Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding

Slightly adapted from “Martha Stewart Living”

Serves 8

  • Unsalted butter, for cups
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 dried hot chiles, crumbled
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably at least 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 loaf challah or brioche (about 1 pound), preferably 2 days old, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons coarse raw sugar, such as turbinado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • Ground cinnamon, for garnish
  • Chocolate curls, for garnish
  1. Butter insides of eight 1-cup ovenproof cups. Bring 2 cups cream, milk, cinnamon sticks, chiles and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Place milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Return cream mixture to a simmer, then strain over chocolate, discarding solids. Gently stir until smooth.
  3. Whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until pale and thick. Whisking constantly, add chocolate mixture in a slow, steady stream.
  4. Whisk in bourbon.
  5. Place challah or brioche in a large bowl, pour in chocolate custard, and gently fold until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring and pressing down bread occasionally.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Divide bread and custard among prepared cups. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar.
  8. Place cups in a roasting pan, and add enough boiling water to reach halfway up sides of cups. Carefully transfer to oven, and bake until puddings are just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer cups to a wire rack, and let cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Just before serving, beat remaining 1 cup cream with the sour cream and confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Top each bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream, and garnish with ground cinnamon and chocolate curls.