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Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding

I bake my own bread every day to serve in the restaurant; ciabata sandwich rolls for the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Chipotle Chicken sandwiches and the Dark Chocolate BBQ Meat Ball Sandwiches; demi-baguette for the tapenade, mushroom pate and the bread dipping oil; and to serve with the Chocolate Clam Chowder.  The hardest part of owning / managing a restaurant is guessing how many mouths you’ll feed on a day-to-day basis so as to limit the amount of waste as much as possible.  It’s impossible to predict it accurately so you will invariably end up with ‘waste’, i.e., left over food that you need to find a use for.  So far I’ve been able to manage fairly close to the predictions, except for the bread.  I use the left over bread to make my crostini but you can only make so much crostini!  I needed another use for the day old bread and decided a bread pudding was my best bet.  Of course the bread pudding had to be chocolate!  I top  it with your choice of one of my four flavors of Donya Marie’s Gourmet Chocolate sauces (Grand Marnier Jubilee, Huckleberry Thrill, Original Decadence, Peppermint Cooler), or my Dark Chocolate Maple Pancake Syrup (my favorite for this dessert).

Bread pudding was born in the 13th century.  Known as ‘poor man’s pudding’ it was created as a means of salvaging stale bread.  The bread was soaked in milk or water, then sugar, butter, fruit, and/or spices were added, and then it was baked.  Sometimes the mixture was housed in a ‘sop’, a hollowed out loaf of bread. Modern bread pudding is made by pouring custard and other flavorings over cubed bread and then baking it.

This bread pudding is not to be confused with my Red Velvet Chocolate Bread Pudding.  Another blog post for that one!  But I do serve both in the restaurant.

10 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped)

1 1/2 cup half and half

1 cup heavy cream

3 large eggs

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

12 cups bread (cut into 1 inch cubes)

Nutmeg

Cinnamon

Donya Marie’s Gourmet Chocolate Sauce / maple syrup

Butter 8 x 11 glass or ceramic baking dish.  In a medium glass bowl, microwave the chopped chocolate until melted, stirring between intervals.

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer over moderatley high heat.  In a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs and yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla and salt.  Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk in the melted chocolate.

Spread the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish and pour the chocolate custard over the top.  Press the bread into the custard until evenly soaked, then let stand for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar over the bread pudding,as well as cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set the baking dish in a roasting pan and fill the pan halfway with hot water.  Bake the bread pudding for 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove the dish from the water bath and let stand for 20 minutes.  Serve the bread pudding warm or at room temperature with the chocolate sauce or chocolate maple syrup.

Click here for more Chocolate Bread Pudding recipes.

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