bread pudding a la snickers

Bread pudding has been going around here like an epidemic.
Both of my parents made it over Valentine's Day weekend, so Chip and I enjoyed a few leftover snatches of cold white chocolate berry bread pudding and a cocoa powder version. Needless to say, that only whet my appetite for the real thing, fresh out of the oven.
A fortuitous trip to Nashville left me with a lovely loaf of quickly staling brioche that needed to be dealt with. It was the perfect opportunity to not only create a deluxe bread pudding, but to get this long-hibernating obsession with the Snickers flavor profile out of my head.
I wasn't sure about the insertion of nuts into a bread pudding; usually I side more along the mushy/melty side (i.e. raisins, chocolate chips, etc). However, their crunch was quite delightful. The singularly most luscious custard I have ever had is adapted from a Joy of Cooking recipe, and topped with the dulce de leche it gets sent into orbit. This dessert is pretty amazing.

bread pudding a la snickers

loaf of brioche, cut into small cubes
1 c heavy cream
3/4 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
12 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 egg
2 egg yolks
2 c whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup salted or honey roasted peanuts
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup caramel sauce

Bring the cream, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, letting it sit for a few minutes, then whisking until smooth.
Whisk together the eggs, yolks, milk, and vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate, then stir in the bread cubes. Let them stand for about 2 hours, for maximum deliciousness, stirring occasionally. Stir in chocolate chips and peanuts.
Preheat oven to 325, butter a 2 qt baking dish, and bake in a water bath until firm, about 55 minutes. Let cool a bit, then drizzle with warm caramel sauce.

caramel sauce

2 tbsp water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

In a saucepan stir sugar and water over medium high heat until clear. On high heat, boil the syrup, covered, 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to boil until syrup begins to darken around the edges. Stir until it turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring, then cream, stirring, then vanilla and salt.
Refrigerate any leftovers.