St. Patrick’s Day: Guinness Chocolate Bread Pudding, Dark Sauce, Vanilla Bean and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

‘Here’s to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold beer and another one!’

I love St. Patrick’s Day.

I swear that in my past life I must have been a leprechaun, an Irish jig dancer, or a bottle of Guinness. Or even better, a leprechaun doing an Irish jig while drinking Guinness.

Sigh. What a happy image.

Why do I love St. Patty’s Day so much, you ask?

Come closer, pull up a chair. Have a pint and I’ll tell you.

You see, I come from a large family. A very large raucous family. They are fun-loving, generous, and good-spirited. I adore them and I’m proud to be affiliated with the lot of them.

We are Peruvian.

We cook a lot, eat a lot, dance a lot, and drink a lot.

The only exception would be lance a lot as we do not participate in the sparring.

Though, that would be an excellent idea for our next themed party.

So, you can see the common relationship between my family and that of a full-swing St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Family, friends, good food and drink, and dance go hand in hand. It’s a day of reveling with high spirits and joyful hearts.

This is why I love it.

For me, Guinness is synonymous for St. Patrick’s Day. It is quintessentially and irrevocably my favorite go-to stout. She’s toasty, nutty, and lusciously rich. She also has a nice dark and smooth espresso note to her that I love. As thick and creamy as she is, I can easily just drink a pint of her and call that my meal. Responsible? No. Healthful, even? Not at all. But, delicious? Hell yes.

So, as I got to thinking about making a dish for this blessed holiday I knew I wanted to incorporate this femme fatale into my plan.

My mind went straight to something sweet as I knew the dark chocolate undertones of Guinness Extra Stout would pair well with a rich dessert.

I was preparing dinner one evening with the Cooking Channel on in the background, as I often do, when I overheard Chuck Hughes, from Chuck’s Day Off, describe his chocolate stout cake. In his recipe, he incorporated a local stout brew to his bread pudding. I thought this was an ingenious idea and later adapted it slightly to include Guinness Extra Stout, Zingerman’s Irish soda bread (the best bread bakers on earth — no lie), and different ratios of sugar and chocolate chips.

He makes whipped cream to top his dessert but I wanted something more. Surprise, surprise.

What can be better with warm-out-of-the-oven bread pudding than homemade ice cream? Vanilla bean and brown sugar ice cream no less!

I topped it off with a dark sauce, which of course, included more Guinness Extra Stout.

This dessert is not for the faint-hearted. She is generously laced with flavors of fudge, espresso, and beer. The Irish soda bread I used is chewy and very nutty which really accentuated the carnal texture to the body of this dessert. And the ice cream on top? Oh, she’s quite lovely. When you taste her straight from the icebox she’s a tease. At first, your palate senses her smooth and delicate caress and then a second later you’re slapped by the earthy hit of brown sugar. It’s unscripted and you’re totally taken by surprise. But you find her tempting ways irresistible and dive in for more. When she’s nestled on the warm bread pudding, however, she slowly begins to melt and takes on the impression of a creme anglaise — soft and subtle, but seductive no less.

I prepared this in my kitchen with Pandora blaring a potpourri of Irish Pub Favorites. I can’t think of a better way to prelude one of the greatest holidays on earth.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Guinness Chocolate Bread Pudding with Dark Sauce

*Bread pudding recipe adapted from Chuck Hughes

Print the Recipe

For the bread pudding and dark sauce:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour (for the bread pudding); 5 minutes (for the sauce)

Servings: 6-8

Difficulty: Easy



For the bread pudding:


1 – 12 oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout beer

½ C. heavy cream

½ C. brown sugar + 1 T. for topping

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ C. bittersweet chocolate chips

4 large eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

4 C. Irish soda bread; cut into cubes

For the dark sauce:


6 oz. (1/2 bottle) Guinness Extra Stout beer

½ C. heavy cream

¼ C. brown sugar

½ C. dark chocolate chips

Pinch of sea salt

Cooking Instructions:


For the bread pudding:


Optional: If your Irish soda bread is fresh, cut it into cubes and place in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes to make slightly crunchy and “stale.” This will make for a better bread pudding.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Add the Guinness, heavy cream, and ½ C. brown sugar to a slow simmer in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Use a whisk to combine and to help chocolate chips melt evenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Temper the egg mixture by adding in a small amount of the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk. Then, add the rest of the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, using a whisk to combine thoroughly.

Add the bread cubes to the custard and stir to combine making sure the bread is soaking up the mixture. Transfer to a greased baking dish. If the mixture is really close to the top of the dish, place it on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over during cooking. Sprinkle the bittersweet chocolate chips over the top. Lastly, disperse the 1 T. brown sugar on top of the bread pudding.

Bake the bread pudding for about 1 hour or until the custard has set.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve bread pudding with dark sauce and whipped cream or ice cream.

For the dark sauce:


In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the Guinness, heavy cream, and brown sugar, and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the dark chocolate chunks and a pinch of sea salt, whisking to incorporate thoroughly. Serve immediately with bread pudding.

Vanilla Bean and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

*Recipe very slightly adapted from Alton Brown

Print the Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes plus 24 hours inactive time

Cook Time: 5 minutes plus 30-45 minutes inactive time

Servings: 6

Difficulty: Easy



2 C. half-and-half

1 C. heavy cream

1 C. brown sugar

1 vanilla bean; halved and beans scraped

*Special equipment needed:


Ice cream maker – Make sure the vessel is frozen prior to using it. Stick it in the freezer 24 hours prior and you should be fine.

Cooking Instructions:


In a medium-sized saucepan combine the half-and-half, heavy cream, brown sugar, and vanilla bean in its’ entirety, and bring to a very slight simmer (tiny bubbles) over medium heat. As soon as it comes to a simmer remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before removing the hull of the vanilla bean. Transfer mixture to a lidded container and put in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

The next day, set up your ice cream maker and place the mixture into the frozen vessel. Turn on the ice cream maker and allow to churn for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until ice cream has turned into desired consistency.

Fold ice cream mixture out into another lidded container and stash in the freezer for about another hour, though it’s ready to be eaten as soon as it’s out of the ice cream maker.




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  • Fresh and FoodieMarch 10, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Um…can I come over? Like, tonight?ReplyCancel

    • StephMarch 10, 2011 - 1:56 pm


      You’re always welcome at Casa Russell here in MI! :-p Tee-hee. It’s always nice to see more chicks appreciate Guinness! Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • alyssaMarch 10, 2011 - 4:26 pm

    So I’m not a beer drinker but I’d love to try this! We are hosting our Supper Club in March and I think I might just have to make this!ReplyCancel

  • lil @ sweetsbysillianahMarch 10, 2011 - 4:36 pm

    yay for Guinness and chocolate! this looks SO good… you really have a way with words, Steph. simply beautiful…ReplyCancel

  • soniaMarch 11, 2011 - 6:11 pm

    This is a wonderful recipe. Just admired the exhaustive post Steph. I wud love to give it a shot soon.ReplyCancel

  • Island VittlesMarch 11, 2011 - 11:33 pm

    that’s some crazy-rich dessert Steph! Incredible…but I expect nothing less from my favourite Peruvian Leprechaun! Happy St. Paddy’s…theresaReplyCancel

  • JessicaMarch 12, 2011 - 12:40 am

    You are absolutely right, Steph – this dish is not for the faint-hearted, it is for someone like ME! This looks intensely flavorful and good. I will love St Patricks as much as you if I get to eat that every year.ReplyCancel

  • Christina @ Sweet Pea's KitchenMarch 13, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    Loving this!!!! So perfect for St Patty’s Day! 🙂 Bread pudding is my husbands favorite dessert..I am totally making this soon! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • miriamMarch 13, 2011 - 5:27 pm

    my bookclub is meeting on the 17th and i think i will make this for the dessert. we are reading a russian book so i was thinking beef stroganoff for supper. odd combo i guess but i have to do it! thanks for yummy sounding yet easy sounding recipe.ReplyCancel

  • sarahMarch 13, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    Oh my, I think I need to make this like right now.ReplyCancel

  • Min {Honest Vanilla}March 14, 2011 - 3:18 am

    I’m sold right at the blog title, it’s Guinness, it’s Chocolate, it’s Pudding and everything else just makes it oh-so-wonderful! Perfect 🙂ReplyCancel

  • TrixMarch 14, 2011 - 9:49 am

    Okay, well, I never do anything for St. Patrick’s Day – but I think I’d like to come to YOUR party!ReplyCancel

  • SusiMarch 14, 2011 - 12:19 pm

    This sounds divine! I just made chocolate cupcakes using Guinness and was blown away at how well the chocolate harmonizes with the beer. I can only imagine how delicious your bread pudding must have turned out. The ice cream on top, ties it all together for me and sounds heavenly. I think you hit a home-run with this dessert!ReplyCancel

  • TiffanyMarch 14, 2011 - 5:43 pm

    I love the sound of this dessert! Chocolate Guinness bread pudding! Brown sugar ice cream!?!?!!??!? YUM!ReplyCancel

  • JeanMarch 14, 2011 - 7:36 pm

    You just took some Irish favorites and made them better, wow! I can only imagine the texture of this bread pudding using Irish brown bread. I’ll have to make this for my Irish friends. They’ll get a big kick out of this. Big YUM!ReplyCancel

  • CooketteMarch 14, 2011 - 10:24 pm

    Wow! This sounds amazing…The brown sugar ice cream is the perfect topping! I can’t wait to try this recipe!ReplyCancel

  • elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds.March 17, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    Such an awesome chocolate bread recipe. I would really love to make this.
    Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • elisabeth@foodandthriftfindsMarch 18, 2011 - 10:09 pm

    Love the bread pudding, the sauce, and especially the yummy ice cream. Printed out the recipe, and so want to make all of these amazing desserts, not just for St. Patrick’s day:D
    Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • RitaMarch 22, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    Yummy, Stephanie! Really yummy! We didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s day this year because it was the Italian National Day (150 years since Italy became a nation), but this dessert is perfect for every occasion! 😛ReplyCancel

  • sippitysupMarch 22, 2011 - 12:52 pm

    Bold and Beautiful! GREGReplyCancel

  • KimberleyMarch 23, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    This sounds epic. I love bread pudding, and anything with booze in it. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • miriamMarch 24, 2011 - 12:01 am

    ok i made it and it was a big big hit! even without sauce and cold the next day. from the bookclub girl.ReplyCancel

    • StephanieMarch 24, 2011 - 8:15 am


      Awesome! That’s so great to hear. 🙂 It’s punchy, isn’t it?ReplyCancel

  • julie @ rosy + tartMarch 24, 2011 - 8:38 am

    Holy geebus. This looks insane. Just how I like my desserts. 😉ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousAugust 25, 2011 - 2:07 pm

    Wow, Guinness Extra Stout beer in the Irish bread pudding…. the “secret” ingredient. Thanks for sharing! 

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