Holiday entertaining

Dec 14th, 2017 | By | Category: Food and Nutrition

Chocolate Orange Brioche Bread Pudding

Every year, there is always one hero recipe that leaves your guests craving for more. This holiday, whip up this rich and delicious brioche pudding that features a soft and buttery sweet loaf made in France that is hand-braided before baking for European-style flavour and flair.

“Toasting the brioche in the oven is a key step to the recipe. It helps to dry out the bread, which makes it even better at soaking up the custard for a moist, cake-like texture,” shares Tom Filippou, executive chef for President’s Choice Cooking School. “To make this more indulgent, serve it with vanilla bean ice cream or freshly whipped cream and garnish with a sprinkling of dark chocolate shavings.”

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cool time: 20 minutes

Serves: 12


• 1 loaf PC brioche loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes

• 8 large eggs

• 1 1/4 cups homogenized milk

• 1 cup 35% whipping cream

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

• 1 tbsp grated orange zest

• 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

• 1 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur

• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 pkg PC dark chocolate with candied orange peel, finely chopped

• 2 tbsp  pure orange marmalade

• 1 1/2 tsp water


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread brioche in single layer on parchment paper-lined large baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until golden; about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, liqueur, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in large bowl until well combined.

3. Spread a third of the brioche in bottom of a 9-cup (2.25 litre) casserole dish and sprinkle with a third of the chocolate. Repeat layers twice with remaining brioche and chocolate. Pour egg mixture over top, gently pressing down on brioche mixture to moisten.

4. Cover with foil; bake 35 minutes. Uncover, bake until puffed, golden brown and set in centre, about 30 to 35 minutes, covering with foil if top begins to overbrown.

5. Stir together marmalade and water in small bowl; brush on bread pudding. Let cool 20 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 270, fat 15 g (8 g of which is saturated), sodium 190 mg,
carbohydrates 27 g, fibre 1 g, sugars 21 g, protein 7 g.

Avocado Toast Pockets

The popular brunch staple gets a holiday appetizer makeover in this phyllo-crusted pocket version. The avocado toast is a delicious combo of creamy avocado, fresh tomato, onion and tart lime, and is beautifully paired with a cilantro-sour cream for dipping.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8 (5 pockets each)


• 2 avocados, diced

• 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen corn, thawed

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced red onion

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) lime juice, divided

• 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder

• 1 garlic clove, grated and divided

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided

• 6 sheets phyllo pastry

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) salted butter, melted

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 2/3 cup (160 mL) sour cream

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro, finely minced


1. Heat oven to 375F (190C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.

2. Stir together avocado, tomato, corn, red onion, 2 tsp (10 mL) lime juice, chili powder, half the garlic and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt in a medium bowl.

3. On clean counter top, place one sheet of pastry. Brush evenly with butter and top with another sheet, smoothing to flatten. Brush second sheet with butter and top with a third sheet. Cut sheet along the long edge into 5 even strips. Cut each strip in half crosswise and in half again to make 4, 3-inch (8 cm) squares. Repeat with remaining strips.

4. Fill one half of each square with 1 tbsp. (15 mL) filling, leaving a 1/2 inch (1 cm) border. Brush border with egg wash. Fold pointed edge of unfilled half over to create a triangle and press firmly to adhere to egg-washed edges. Place on prepared sheet and brush triangles with egg wash. Bake until golden; about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining pastry sheets and filling.

5. Meanwhile, mix sour cream, cilantro, remaining lime juice, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Serve with pockets.

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