Friday, April 2, 2010

Rich Chocolate Bread Pudding

Makes About 10 Servings

1 loaf of French bread or 2 Baguettes, 1-2 days old and starting to harden
2 cans evaporated milk
1/4 cup half & half
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 large eggs
1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325. Slice and cube the bread--this may require some elbow grease if it's hardened already. (Be prepared for lots of crumbs! I usually do mine over the sink or put a big kitchen towel under the cutting board.) Spray a 13x9 glass baking dish and spread the bread in it evenly. In a large bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, half & half, and coffee (try to resist drinking this). In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugars together with the cocoa. Slowly stir this into the milk mixture in the large bowl. In another bowl (medium sized or so), beat the eggs then add the vanilla, almond and cinnamon and stir. Pour egg mixture into the large bowl with the milk mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour evenly over the bread cubes in the baking dish and let stand, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid. Bake for 1 hour until set and a knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean (except for melted chocolate chips). Serve warm or cold.

This dessert is really simple to make and tastes delicious! I like to serve ours warm with some fresh whipped cream on top. Yummy! It's good cold too though or with ice cream or even hot fudge on top. And by the way, you can use REALLY old (non-moldy of bread with this too. I have made it with some poor forgotten loaves of bread that were rock hard and about 2 weeks old and it tasted just as good as with 2 day old baguettes!

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