Michelle Bernstein created this classic bread pudding to show off Bermuda's famous rum. She combines pound cake cubes with challah or brioche, for richness, and toasts both of them before making the pudding for more depth of flavor.
Rum-Flavored Bread Pudding
- 7 oz. plain pound cake cut into 1/2-inch dice, about 3 cups
- 3-1/2 oz. crustless brioche, challah, or white bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice, about 3 cups
- 1/2 cup dark raisins, about 3 oz.
- Zest of 1 orange, about 1 packed Tbs.
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins
- Confectioners sugar
- Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F.
- Put the cake and bread in a single layer on large rimmed baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and toast until it becomes lightly brown in places, tossing halfway through, about 10 minutes total. Turn off the oven and leave the pan on the rack overnight, with the door shut, until the cubes are very dry. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Put the raisins and orange zest in a small bowl, add the rum, and let soak until plumped, 3 hours or up to overnight. Drain the raisins and set aside. Reserve the rum for another use.
- Put a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks and granulated sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream, milk, and vanilla, whisking continuously until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat. Whisk the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture in three additions until well combined. Stir in the raisins and the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture over the cake-bread mixture and fold together with a silicone spatula until well combined. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Generously butter six 8 oz. ramekins. Choose a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the prepared ramekins with an inch or two of space on all sides.
- Divide the bread mixture between the ramekins. Put the ramekins in the roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour 1 inch of boiling water around the baking dish (avoid getting water into ramekins) and bake until the custard sets, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the bread pudding from the roasting pan and let cool for at least 10 minutes.