As I finished preparing dinner one night, I had a sudden inspiration to use up the two egg knot rolls in my freezer. I needed the space! I’d bought the rolls, which are made with eggy brioche dough, with bread pudding in mind, so before I sat down to eat, I took them from the freezer knowing they’d defrost quickly.
After dinner, I had this chocolate orange bread pudding in the oven within a few minutes. I cut the rolls into large cubes and piled them into a lightly buttered high-sided glass baking dish. I tucked in a handful of dark chocolate pastilles (discs), and some diced candied orange zest. In a bowl, I mixed 2 eggs with 2% milk and a little half-and-half I needed to use up, maybe 1 1/2 or 2 cups total. Plus a tablespoon (or so…) of Grand Marnier. If I’d remembered, I might have added a little orange juice, too. Poured that over the bread, poking and prodding to get the bread to absorb the liquid.
As usual, I forgot to add sugar to the milk mixture, so generously sprinkled the top of the pudding with Demerara sugar, knowing that would suffice, and give a nice crunch to the top. Into a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, and voila! I have made some version of this countless times, and while I don’t usually like bread pudding in restaurants (too dense, too many raisins…), I love the impromptu variations on this theme I make at home with airy brioche.