- Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking dish
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 7 ounces brioche, cut into eight 1/2-inch slices, halved diagonally
- 1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett (about 3), cored and very thinly sliced
- 3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon sanding or other coarse sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle bottom evenly with chocolate. Arrange brioche in dish, alternating each slice with 3 or 4 pear slices.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk together eggs and egg yolks, milk, cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour mixture evenly over bread and pears and let sit 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake until brioche is puffed and custard is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To store, refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days.