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Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding with Cointreau Syrup

I do have a particular fondness for any dessert that incorporates chocolate and orange flavours and with Spouse’s newfound love of bread pudding this was a bit of an obvious invention. There’s nothing like a happy marriage! 😉

Begin by making some candied orange zest and orange syrup

Using a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the zest of one large orange being careful to avoid as much of the white part of the peel as possible. Add the orange zest to a small heavy bottomed saucepan along with
1 cup sugar
¾ cup water

Simmer this gently for about a half hour. Remove the candied orange peel to a baking rack to drain and dry a little. Divide the orange syrup into 2 equal portions.

5 cups bread cubes (Use any good quality bread. I’ve used Brioche here but French, Italian or Belgian bread is good too.)

Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish well. Toss in ½ of the bread cubes in an even layer. Sprinkle the bread cubes with some of the orange syrup along with
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips.
Repeat these layers with the rest of the bread cubes, the remainder of ½ of the orange syrup and an additional ¼ cup of semisweet chocolate chips. ( Use broken pieces of a good quality dark chocolate bar if you prefer, rather than the chocolate chips.)

Whisk together:

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes, pressing down slightly to make sure all the cubes are soaked. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes until the custard is set and no longer liquid in the center. Let the bread pudding stand for about 20 minutes before serving. If desired, when serving, drizzle individual portions with a mixture of the remaining orange syrup and 2-3 ounces of Cointreau or other orange liqueur.

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