Has a chef created the most romantic dessert recipe through science?

Merlot Bread Pudding, photo provided by Chef James Briscione
Merlot Bread Pudding, photo provided by Chef James Briscione /

For that perfect event, the most romantic dessert recipe could the ultimate way to end a meal. Although one bite might not ensure a happily ever after, a single fork full might make your heart go aflutter. Are you ready to put science to the test?

Romantic desserts tend to fall into certain categories. Often rich, decadent chocolate forward desserts are on the table. Some people believe that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, which often makes it a popular ingredient in romantic desserts.

Other ingredients like strawberries, bananas and figs tend to be included in romantic desserts. Whether it is the idea of the forbidden fruit or just flavors that spark arousal, many people are looking to enhance the love around the meal.

Can science create the most romantic dessert recipe?

Recently, Chef James Briscione, Executive Chef of Angelena’s in Pensacola, Florida has created a recipe that takes the term food science in a new direction. Having hone his skills at Daniel, the Institute of Culinary Education and even the Food Network, the celebrated chef took on a new challenge.

Working with IBM’s supercomputer Watson, Chef Briscione embraced the food and science challenge. While chefs often have favorite food and flavor combinations, the experiment looked to science to uncover unexpected flavor pairings.

As seen in his cookbooks, The Flavor Matrix and Flavor for All, Chef Briscione encourages cooks to push the flavor envelope. These recipe ideas might not be the traditional ones, but they are flavor combinations that are unforgettable.

Can you make the most romantic dessert recipe in your home kitchen?

According to Chef Briscione, the most romantic dessert recipe is his Chocolate and Merlot Bread Pudding. While many people think to pair wine and chocolate, this recipe is more nuanced that just that simple food concept.

Briscione shared during an interview with Fine Dining Lovers, “These three ingredients are a very strong match based on their aroma profiles. They all develop similar toasted aromas, but in different ways—bourbon and wine draw them from the wooden barrels they are aged in, while cocoa beans develop them during drying and roasting. However it happens, when combined into a warm, comforting bread pudding with a creamy sauce, the result is magical.”

If that description has tempted you to make the most romantic dessert recipe, Chef Briscione has shared how to make it. Here’s the recipe.

Chocolate and Merlot Bread Pudding by Chef James Briscione

Serves 8


  • 200g sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 500ml milk
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Half of a French baguette cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 350g chopped dark chocolate
  • 8 tablespoons of bourbon
  • 200g shelled unsalted pistachios (optional)
  • 250ml merlot wine
  • 200g sugar
  • 250ml double cream


Make the bread pudding:

  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, cocoa, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon and continue whisking to combine. Stir in the bread, mix well, and set aside for the bread to soften, about 30 minutes. The bread should soak up nearly all of the custard. Occasionally stir the bowl from the bottom to evenly distribute the custard. While the bread is soaking, preheat the oven to 177°C/Gas mark 4/ 350° F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. When the bread is completely softened, add the butter, chocolate, bourbon, and pistachios, if using. Stir well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the center of the bread pudding is just set. The surface should be browned and firm to the touch with a bit of give. When you lightly press in the center, no liquid should rise to the surface. Let cool in the baking dish on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.

Make the sauce:

  • Combine the wine and sugar in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the cream and cook for about 2 minutes more, until the sauce is thick and smooth.

To serve:

  • Serve the bread pudding drizzled with a generous amount of the merlot sauce. Store any leftover bread pudding tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 10 days and reheat to serve.

Whether you have a romantic dinner, a special occasion or just want to try a delicious dessert, this bread pudding might become a favorite recipe. Although this dessert does not guarantee a proposal at the end of the meal, it will be the bite that leaves you satisfied.

light. Related Story. Chef Aaron Lawson reimagines the classic chocolate cake recipe

Do you have a suggestion for the most romantic dessert recipe? For romantic meals, do you always serve the same dessert?