- Butter, for greasing
- 1 pound brioche, crust removed and bread torn into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
- 1 1/2 pints vanilla bean ice cream, preferably Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams' Ndali Estate or Häagen-Dazs
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon whiskey
- Pinch of sea salt
- Make the bread pudding Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a shallow, 2-quart baking dish and spread the torn brioche in it. Scoop the ice cream into a glass bowl and warm in the microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring, just until melted. Whisk in the eggs, sugar and 3/4 cup of water. Pour the custard over the brioche and let stand for 15 minutes, pressing to submerge the bread in the custard.
- Make the bread pudding Bake the bread pudding for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is browned. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over moderate heat, swirling the pan and brushing down the side with a wet pastry brush, until the sugar dissolves. Cook undisturbed until a medium-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Add the cream (be careful, it may boil vigorously) and simmer, whisking, until the caramel is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then stir in the whiskey and salt.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce Serve the warm bread pudding with the caramel sauce.
The caramel sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Rewarm before serving.