I know you guys want chocolate but I just wanted to remind you all of this awesome giveaway – The great folks over at CSN have offered to give one of my readers a gift certificate for $55 to put towards the purchase of anything in their online stores. Have you heard of them? Well, they sell just about anything AND the kitchen sink. From modern bedding to shoes to kitchen essentials (of course), there isn’t anything you won’t find on one of CSN’s 200+ websites.
Click here to find out how you can enter.
Now on to chocolate! Forget Valentine’s Day. Any day is as good a day to make this wonderful dessert. Proceed with caution though as copious amounts of challah may be consumed in the process of making it and never make it into the baking dish. (Not that that happened to me…I’m just sayin…be careful.) And you may feel an impulse to drink the chocolate custard before pouring on top of the bread. (Not that I for a second thought that…cuz remember…I’m a vanilla girl through and through.)
If you fight the urge to eat all the bread and drink the pudding before baking this dessert you will be handsomely rewarded. It’s a breeze to put together and chocked full of puddingy-bready-chocolatey goodness. Stale bread never tasted so good.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
12 ounces Challah bread, preferably stale
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. If the bread is stale, put it into the baking pan 9x13 baking pan. If it is not stale, spread it out on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven to “stale” it for about 10 minutes, then toss into the pan.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and cream but do not boil.
Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar together in a bowl. Still whisking, slowly drizzle in about one quarter of the hot milk — this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they don’t curdle/cook. While still whisking, slowly pour in the rest of the hot milk. Add the chocolate and whisk it in gently until it is melted and the custard is smooth. Tap the bowl against the counter to pop any bubbles that might have formed, then pour the custard over the bread and press the bread gently with the back of a spoon to help cover it with liquid. Leave the pan on the counter, giving the bread the back-of-the-spoon treatment now and then, for 30 minutes.
Put the baking dish holding the unbaked pudding into the roasting pan, and then slide the pan setup into the oven and very carefully pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the pudding is uniformly puffed, the top is dull and dry and a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
You could serve this pudding warm, but it is better at cool room temperature or even chilled — it also cuts better when it is cold. Serve the pudding simply with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or less simply with vanilla (or rum or Grand Marnier or brandy) crème anglaise, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream, or crème fraîche.