Chocolate Bread Pudding

Do you ever find yourself making recipes that are good?  Like, really good?  As in, I’m going to eat this for dessert, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then make it again in the same week because it was so good?  A friend of mine was traveling through town last month and he stayed with me for a few days.  I had some leftover milk bread and made us fresh milk bread to have with some curried squash soup, so I needed to use up the milk bread.  I once again turned to the Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook and found this recipe for chocolate bread pudding.  So, we ate it.  And when it was gone, we walked up to the Lincoln Wine Bar for dinner one night (a delicious oyster mushroom, goat cheese, and chile pizza), and as we talked about going home to watch the World Series, we were laughing about how much we wished we had the bread pudding leftover at home.  I jokingly mentioned that if we could find some chocolate chips, we could probably make some more — so I texted a neighbor to see if they had chocolate chips — it was a no go.  Then we walked to the pharmacy in town.  They didn’t have chocolate chips — but they did have m&ms.  So, we melted them down and made round two of the bread pudding.  It was so good.  I know it’s the time of season when we use stale bread for Thanksgiving dressing, but if you’re looking for a different type of dessert, you probably can’t go wrong with this deliciousness.

Chocolate Bread Pudding.jpg

Chocolate Bread Pudding

1/2 loaf unsliced homemade-type bread, cut into 1-inch squares (about 4-5 cups)
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/4 c whole milk
3/4 lb chocolate, shaved or chocolate chips
3 eggs
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Put the bread cubes into a large bowl.  In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a boil, turn off the heat, and stir in the chocolate until it has melted.  Pour this over the bread and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes so that the bread absorbs the mixture.  Beat the eggs and sugar with the vanilla and almond extracts.  Pour over the bread, tossing gently.  Dump the bread mixture into a large, greased 2-quart pan or an 8×8 inch cake pan.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the inside is still soft and moist.  The pudding should seem underbaked.  Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream.

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