This recipe is inspired by the food52 community. From Amanda's post on chai, I was tempted to try a simple chai recipe given by Sally Maccoun from her friend Alla. It was the first time I had chai, and I liked it. So, I brought over a loaf of left over bread to my friend's house where we tried out this recipe…and I got her to join food52 too. This bread pudding has a very light texture and gentle flavor…perfect for a chai newbie like me. Thanks food52 for expanding my horizons!

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
1 slice fresh ginger
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups 2% milk
6 cardamom pods
10 peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 tea bag (black tea...I used Earl Grey as that is all my friend had on hand)
12 slices sweet french bread, crusts removed (it was a wide loaf, not a slim baguette)
3-4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar

Directions

Step 1
Add ginger to milk in small sauce pan. Bruise ginger with a wooden spoon.

Step 2
Heat milk over medium heat while stirring until steamy and just starting to bubble. Remove from heat.

Step 3
In another bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar.

Step 4
Very slowly add a stream of hot milk into yolk/sugar mixture. Add about 1/3 of milk.

Step 5
Add back the egg mixture to the milk left in the sauce pan and whisk vigorously over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes. The vigorous whisking introduces the froth.

Step 6
Remove from heat when slightly thickened and frothy.

Step 7
Slice pudding and serve with ginger creme.

Step 8
Pour milk into saucepan over medium heat.

Step 9
Crush cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves. I used the bottom of a heavy metal measuring cup. Add to milk. Add tea bag (w/o string) to pot.

Step 10
Heat milk while stirring until it barely boils. Turn off heat and let milk steep, stirring occasionally to prevent skin from forming.

Step 11
Butter 2 quart baking dish. (Mine says 1.6 L, actually).

Step 12
Butter each slice of bread and layer in pan with butter side up, sprinkling almonds in amongst the slices. Set aside.

Step 13
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and cream. Pour cooled infused milk mixture into egg mixture through a strainer while whisking.

Step 14
Pour over bread mixture. Press bread down to make sure it soaks up chai mixture. Do this a few times.

Step 15
Sprinkle more almonds on top. Also sprinkle the top generously with brown sugar.

Step 16
Put into 375 degree oven in large pan. Add boiling water to pan about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up.

Step 17
Bake for 45 minutes. The top should be crusty and golden, the middle should be slightly firm.

Step 18
Carefully remove from oven and let cool while you make the creme.