Friday, March 12, 2010

Carb Week: Chocolate Bread Pudding

Back to the desserts, and this one's a doozy. If I could convince you to make one recipe from this week... this would be tied with the rosemary crackers. The recipe is chocolate bread pudding, but it really should be said more like this: THE chooocolaaate breaddddd poooooooooooding. It was bowl-lickin' good. It is, hands down, one of the best desserts I've ever made. And that's high praise, considering the amount of desserts I make.

(Photo credit: Ezra Pound Cake)

I think one of the reasons this was so good was because - and are you ready for this? - I burned the bread. I made homemade bread, using a new recipe, and the bottom was a little burnt. Not the best for sandwiches... but it lent a perfect taste to the bread pudding, an ever-so-slight smokiness. I'm not necessarily advocating burning bread, but nevertheless, it was delectable.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
Adapted from "Cheap. Fast. Good!" by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross

1/2 stick butter, plus more for preparing the pan
6 cups loosely packed, crustless bread cubes (can use stale or burnt bread)
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk
5 egg yolks
8 oz. chocolate chips
2/3 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly butter a 13 - 9 inch baking dish. Place the bread cubes in the prepared dish. Microwave the butter until melted. Drizzle melted butter over bread cubes, tossing to distribute butter evenly. Set dish aside.

Place egg yolks in a small bowl and beat lightly. Set aside. Combine cream and milk in a 2-quart saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once mixture begins to boil, remove pan from heat and add the chocolate chips, sugar and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until the chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Then add the egg yolks slowly (add a little egg, whisk, add a little egg, whisk, etc.) and whisk well.

Pour the chocolate cream evenly over the bread cubes, making sure all the bread is covered. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the bread mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. (This step can be skipped, but it does improve the flavor.)

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the bread pudding from the fridge and cut six vent holes in the foil. Bake, covered with foil, for 1 hour, or until the pudding is set.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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