From Andrew Ullom, Executive Pastry Chef for AC Restaurant Group, Durham, NC
7⅓ cups bread flour
1¾ cups cocoa
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 pound butter at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
12 ounces dark chocolate (we use Videri for all our chocolate needs)
2 quarts half-and-half
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Benne Ice Cream
2 cups milk
1½ cups heavy cream
7 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup benne seeds
½ cup benne oil
Combine dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Add buttermilk and eggs. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix on medium-low speed to a smooth consistency. Let stand 20 minutes.
Add room-temperature butter and mix until fully incorporated, about 4 minutes. Proof dough for two hours, then place in 9 3×5-inch bread tins and proof 1½–2 hours more. Bake at 375–400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
Combine eggs and sugar and mix well.
Melt chocolate over a double boiler and add enough half-and-half to make a runny ganache. Temper eggs and sugar mixture with ganache. Add any remaining half-and-half. Add salt and stir.
Cube brioche and soak in bowl of ganache mixture overnight in refrigerator, turning occasionally to make sure it’s soaked evenly.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray 21”x 13” pan with vegetable oil spray, line with parchment, and spray again.
Pack custard and bread mixture into pan and cover with two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of foil.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and plastic wrap and bake until fully set, about 20 minutes more. Serve warm with Benne Ice Cream and caramel.
Benne Ice Cream
Heat the milk and heavy cream to 160 degrees.
In separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, and salt and stir until pale yellow. Slowly temper yolks with milk and cream and cook mixture to 172 degrees.
Strain through fine-mesh sieve and chill over ice bath. Let custard rest overnight. 4. Add benne seeds and load into ice cream freezer. As mixture starts to thicken, add benne oil. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instruction.
Yield: 2 quarts