Berbere Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding
Our Sēti Berbere is the ‘secret’ ingredient in this very chocolaty, crowd-pleasing bread pudding. The flavors are amiable and cozy with notes of clove, mace, allspice, and coriander and a sparkling hint of chile. Dust the top with powdered sugar and serve it family style right from the baking dish. Don’t forget to pass around a generous bowl of whipped cream scented with korerima (Ethiopian black cardamom)!
We use Dutch-processed cocoa for this recipe because of its beautifully dark color but any type of cocoa will work.
1 tablespoon butter
1 loaf (1 pound) mild sourdough bread, crusts removed
2 cups half and half
¾ cup sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate (72% cacao), chopped
2½ teaspoons Sēti Berbere
¼ cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
¾ cup milk
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting
For the spiced whipped cream:
1½ cups cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream, mascarpone, or crème fraiche
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon korerima, ground to a powder (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds)
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Thoroughly butter the interior of a 2 quart or 9” x 13” baking dish and set it on a rimmed baking sheet (this makes transferring the filled casserole to and from the oven much easier).
Cut the bread into 1½-inch cubes — if the loaf is sliced, tear or cut into 1½-to 2-inch pieces (either way, about 8 cups of bread cubes or pieces). Fill the baking dish with the bread.
Put the half and half, sugar, chopped chocolate, Sēti Berbere, and cocoa powder into a large, heavy saucepan set over medium-low heat. Warm the mixture gently, stirring continually, just until the chocolate has melted. Remove the pan from the heat, continue stirring while slowly adding the milk. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the salt and vanilla extract.
Pour the custard into the baking dish over the bread; use the back of a spoon to gently press on the bread, saturating it.
Bake for 45 minutes. Let the bread pudding cool and set for about 20 minutes before serving.
Make the spiced whipped cream Put the heavy cream, sour cream (mascarpone or crème fraiche), sugar, korerima, and a tiny pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip until the cream is pillowy with medium peaks.