Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chocolate Bread Pudding

1 (12 inch) loaf challah, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 12 cups)

4 c heavy cream
2 c whole milk
½ c Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 TBS instant espresso powder
1 c sugar
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 lrg egg yolks

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°F. Toast bread on rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Increase oven temperature to 325°F. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Heat 1 ½ c cream, milk, cocoa, espresso, and ½ c sugar in saucepan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming and sugar dissolves. Pour warm cream mixture over toasted bread and let stand, tossing occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring additional 1 c cream to simmer in saucepan over medium high heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth. Transfer 1 c chocolate mixture to medium bowl and let cool 5 minutes (cover pan and reserve remaining chocolate mixture for serving). Add egg yolks, remaining cream, and remaining sugar to bowl with chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Transfer soaked bread mixture to prepared pan and pour chocolate custard mixture evenly over bread. Bake until pudding is just set and surface is slightly crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes. Warm reserve chocolate mixture over low heat, then pour over bread pudding. Serve.

Serves 12

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