This Mexican Bread Pudding with Boozy Chocolate Sauce happens when a classic bread pudding recipe gets a south-of-the-border shake up! Bolillo rolls flecked with dried cranberries and pecans soaked in egg custard and baked get topped with a luscious chocolate sauce that features Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and triple sec (or other orange liqueur). Garnished with fresh mint and pomegranate arils, this fusion of Mexican-American flavors will be a gorgeous addition to your holiday table!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Capirotada vs Mexican Bread Pudding
Capirotada is the traditional Mexican bread pudding, and it is quite different from a classic American bread pudding. The dish came to Mexico with the Spanish, and it started out as a more savory dish that was heavily influenced by Moorish cuisine - fruit, nuts, spices, and often meat.
Over time, capirotada became primarily a sweet dish that is served during Lent. In my research, I did not find any recipes that included eggs, but many include cheese. Bolillo rolls often find their way into a traditional Mexican capirotada, and they provide the foundation for my bread pudding as well.
What is classic bread pudding?
Food historians trace the history of bread pudding back to the 11th or 12 centuries as frugal cooks looked for ways to use stale bread. Bread pudding is still a great way to use stale bread, but you'll find it on the menus of fine dining restaurants as well as in the kitchens of the humblest homes.
Bread and sweetened custard are key to a classic bread pudding recipe. It is a perfect foundation for creativity! Nuts, fruits, spices, even booze frequently find their way into the bread-egg mixture before it is baked to golden perfection!
A naked bread pudding is lovely on its own, but why stop there? Top it with rum raisin sauce, dulce le leche, or this boozy Mexican chocolate sauce.
What is Mexican chocolate?
Mexican chocolate is a paste made from cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon. You may also find it with add-ins like vanilla, almonds, or other spices. Its texture is somewhat grainy due to its sugar content. The liquid chocolate is poured into molds and is typically sold in solid disks.
In creating this bread pudding recipe, I combined typical Mexican capirotada ingredients - bolillo rolls, dried fruit, spices, pecans - with the bread pudding custard that is popular in the US.
Lastly, the chocolate sauce is a glorious combination of Mexican chocolate, orange liqueur, cinnamon and ancho powder, and cream. The garnish of fresh mint and pomegranate arils brings it all together in one decadent mouthful!
🎂 Why We Love This Dessert Recipe
- This Mexican bread pudding is unique... using typical Mexican ingredients like bolillo rolls, ancho chile powder, triple sec, Mexican chocolate, and piloncillo in a brand new way!
- Bread pudding is excellent leftover, making it perfect for the holidays. Cover with foil, and reheat in a gentle 300° oven.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
Mexican Bread Pudding
- bolillo rolls - I use bolillo rolls because I live on the border, and they're readily available. You can substitute a different light (as opposed to dense) bread with good results.
- milk - I keep 1% lowfat milk in my refrigerator. I use it 50/50 with half n' half.
- half n' half - If you aren't concerned about fat and calories, you can use cream!
- sugar - White or brown sugar is fine. If I'm being "fancy," I'll use piloncillo.
- dried fruit - I have used both dried cranberries and dried cherries. Raisins would be great as well.
- pecans - You can substitute walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts.
Boozy Chocolate Sauce
- Mexican chocolate - Have you had Mexican chocolate? It's a granular paste made out of cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon, with other spices like vanilla or nutmeg that amplify its complex flavor. There are 2 brands readily available in the US: Abuelita and Ibarra.
- ground cinnamon
- red chile powder - Use ground ancho, guajillo, or New Mexico red chile powder. These are ONLY ground chile. DO NOT USE generic "chili powder." It is a spice blend that includes other ingredients like ground cumin and garlic.
- fine sea salt
- heavy cream - This is where I refuse to compromise. A creamy chocolate sauce requires - CREAM! LOL.
- orange liqueur - I keep triple sec in my pantry for cooking and margaritas. You don't need a fancy orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier).
Heat milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just about to simmer.
Using a ladle, add a little of the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking vigorously. Repeat 3 or 4 more times.
After the eggs are tempered, whisk them into the milk/cream mixture.
Pour the hot liquid/egg mixture into the bread, and stir to combine. Make sure all of the bread is wet. Rest 30 minutes
Stir in the pecan pieces, zest, and dried fruit
Spray or butter your baking dish before spreading the bread mixture. Place in a larger pan in the preheated oven. Add very hot or boiling water to the outer pan to about halfway up the inner baking dish. Bake.
While the bread pudding bakes, make the sauce. It only takes a few minutes!
Boozy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Add the chocolate to a small saucepan over low heat. Gently melt it. It will be a little thick and pasty.
Add the salt and spices, and work them into the chocolate. Don't allow the mixture to get too hot!
Add the orange liqueur and the cream, stirring constantly until combined and creamy.
Pour into a glass container until ready to pour on your warm bread pudding! Finish this Mexican-American fusion dessert with a garnish of fresh mint and pomegranate arils. Enjoy!
Cooking the chocolate - I am comfortable cooking the chocolate on direct heat. If you're not confident or frequently distracted, use a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pan of water.
What kind of chocolate should I use? As with all chocolate, Mexican chocolate varies in quality and ingredients. I have used both the Ibarra and the Abuelita brands. They are good, and easy to find. However, if I'm going "all out," I use our locally made Mexican chocolate or Taza Chocolate Organic Mexicano Disc.
How long can I store the chocolate sauce? I leave the chocolate sauce out on the counter for a short time (1-2 hours). Any longer, and I put it in the refrigerator (because of the cream). It can be gently reheated. I would suggest putting it in a watertight container in a pan and pouring boiling water around it until it's melted.
What about the leftover bread pudding? It's great leftover! Cover it with foil and put it in the oven to warm at 350°.
🧂 Useful Stuff
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🍷 Pairing Suggestions
This luscious dessert pairs well with port style wines IMHO. A sparkling wine could work, but it depends on the cacao percentage in your chocolate. Check out Wine Folly's pairing guide for more ideas...
If you've followed me for awhile, you may be aware that desserts are reserved for special occasions. This is no exception! This is a rich, decadent dessert, and according to our dear friend and choir director Veda, "it is perfectly balanced!"
Mexican inspiration finds its way into many of my dessert recipes: Mexican chocolate trifle with orange curd and pomegranate pudding and my Mexican chocolate mousse with ancho and orange are delicious examples. Notice a theme? I love the orange, red chile, cinnamon, chocolate combination. Don't forget to check them out as well!
Intrigued by the Mexican-American fusion idea? Click this link ⤵
Bread Pudding with Boozy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
- 10 ounces bolillo rolls - cut in cubes
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
- Fresh mint and pomegranate arils to garnish
Boozy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
- 6 ounces Mexican chocolate
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground red chile powder
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- Make the custard - Heat milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until just about to simmer. Temper the eggs - Using a ladle, add a little of the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking vigorously. Repeat 3 or 4 more times. After the eggs are tempered, whisk them into the milk/cream mixture.
- Soak the bread - Pour the hot liquid/egg mixture into the bread, and stir to combine. Make sure all of the bread is wet. Rest 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.
- Make the bread pudding - Stir in the pecan pieces, zest, and dried fruit.
- Bake the bread pudding - Spray or butter your baking dish before spreading the bread mixture. Place in a larger pan in the preheated oven. Add very hot or boiling water to about half up the casserole. Bake until custard is set (about 50 minutes). While the bread pudding bakes, make the chocolate sauce.
- Make the chocolate sauce - Add the chocolate to a small saucepan over low heat. Gently melt it. It will be a little thick and pasty. Add the salt and spices, and work them into the chocolate. Don't allow the mixture to get too hot! Add the orange liqueur and the cream, stirring constantly until combined and creamy. Pour into a glass container until ready to pour on your warm bread pudding!
- Serve - Finish this Mexican-American fusion dessert with a garnish of fresh mint and pomegranate arils. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.