This dessert received an excellent score on the effort-to-reward ratio. At least when made in one pan. Since I don’t own nine matching mini souffle bowls, and my antipathy for precision in presentation is longstanding, I opted to make one large pudding instead of nine single serving sizes.
I’m not sure why clarified butter is preferable in this recipe -maybe because it’s a purer flavor? In any case, I used this recipe as an excuse to clarify three pounds of butter so I have enough for the next few recipes that need it, as well as plenty for making popcorn.
With the bread readied, it’s on to the custard! Here’s the chocolate, and half and half because I just couldn’t eat a super rich chocolate dessert this week. Not that half and half is exactly lowfat, but I was willing to go with rich instead of super rich.
I was a little confused by instructions to heat the cream without any specified temperature, unusual for a Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe. After reading everything thoroughly I concluded that it didn’t matter too much because the custard would cook in the oven. So I heated, mixed, and added chocolate
then bread slices
Then I had to wait for it to cool! That’s always the hard part. Finally it was time to unmold and cut the pudding. Or portion it, as the directions said. But how do you portion a round pudding into 8-10 portions which can be cut into 3 slices each? I was baffled, so I tried cutting the pudding crosswise, through a bunch of bread slices (bad idea, very hard to cut through so many crispy slices of bread, and then the little soldier slices want to go their own bready way). So I went with lengthwise, which worked much better.
The good news is, they tasted great either way!