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Brioche and white chocolate make 300 East dessert special

300 East’s white chocolate bread pudding is based on rich brioche.
300 East’s white chocolate bread pudding is based on rich brioche. JENNIFER LOVER

When I received Subrina Goosch’s request for the white chocolate brioche pudding at 300 East, I was thrilled. I couldn’t think of a better way to say au revoir to Mardi Gras than this signature dish of Creole cooking.

Bread pudding is one of my all-time favorite desserts and Subrina declared that pastry chef Ashley Boyd’s version was “melt in your mouth delicious.”

Boyd adapted this recipe from Todd English and Sally Sampson’s cookbook, “The Figs Table,” and it has quickly become a customer favorite and a regular on the 300 East dessert menu. She has paired the silky pudding with everything from local blackberries and lemon curd anglaise to white mocha sauce and espresso praline. Currently, it shares a plate with caramelized Deal Orchard apples, cider syrup and hazelnut lace.

Personally, I ate it straight from the ramekin. I am always amazed at how something so simple – stale bread, cream and eggs – could be so delicious.

Be sure to start with a good brioche loaf or rolls and let the bread dry out a bit before you use it. Believe me, you will no longer need to make the pilgrimage to New Orleans to find the best.

Are you looking for a recipe from a Charlotte-area restaurant? Send your request to Jennifer Lover, jen@jenlover.com or on Instagram (@jenniferlover). Please include your name, why you like the recipe, the area where you live and the restaurant’s location. Lover is a creative director, stylist and cook who lives in Charlotte.

300 East

300 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203, 704-332-6507, 300east.net.

300 East White Chocolate Brioche Pudding

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

5 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chips or bar (300 East uses Callebaut)

4 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups day-old brioche, crusts mostly removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Butter for ramekins or pan

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Butter 6 (4- to 6-ounce) ovenproof ramekins or one 8-by-8-inch baking pan. If using bar chocolate, chop into pea-size pieces.

COMBINE cream, milk and sugar in medium saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and immediately add chocolate. Whisk until completely melted.

WHISK yolks, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until well-blended. Then, in a slow stream, whisk egg mixture into cream/chocolate mixture until uniformly combined.

PLACE bread cubes in the medium bowl, pour in custard and toss gently with a spatula until bread is completely submerged and coated. Let sit at least 30 minutes, stirring gently a few times, until the custard has soaked into the bread all the way to the middle of the cubes.

DIVIDE among buttered ramekins or pour into the baking pan. Set ramekins into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Add very hot water in the larger pan to reach 2/3 up the side of the ramekins. Transfer carefully to oven. Bake for 20 minutes, turn the pan and bake 5 minutes longer.

TEST for doneness by pressing a finger gently on the center of pudding. Puddings are done when no liquid custard oozes out of center when pressed, tops are just slightly puffed, and the edges of the bread cubes are beginning to get golden brown and crusty. (NOTE: If you use a single pan, it will take longer to bake, 35-45 minutes.)

COOL 10-15 minutes before serving warm.

Yield: 6 (4-ounce) servings

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