Thursday, January 30, 2014

It's not "Death by Chocolate," but It's Close!

We're trying to deal with the cold temperatures here in Philadelphia, and like many of my friends and neighbors, that means baking.  Why is it when the weather turns cold, we want sweets?

Yummy, chocolate-y bread pudding, fresh out of the oven!
My daughter was home for a visit several days ago, and we decided to use up a partial loaf of French bread to make Double Chocolate Bread Pudding.  This recipe appeared years ago in Good Housekeeping magazine at the request from a reader who had this delicious dessert at the Red Fish Grill in New Orleans.  It isn't hard to make, but does take a bit of time.  Gather the following ingredients:

2 cups of heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chips or a chopped bar)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
about 6 ounces day-old French bread
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
whipped cream or Cool Whip and hot fudge sauce (optional)

The recipe calls for simple ingredients.
Begin by cutting day-old French bread into 1 inch cubes.  Place in a 1 1/2 quart or 8" x 8" glass baking dish.
(My glass dish is 8" x 10")

Next, mix the cream, sugar and milk into a heavy 2 quart saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in 6 ounces of chocolate until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted.  Gradually whisk in eggs and vanilla until well combined.  (It's important to take your time adding the eggs...if you pour them in too fast, they will clump together instead of blend with the other ingredients.)

Pour mixture over the bread cubes and stir to coat the bread evenly.  Cover and place baking dish into the refrigerator for 30 minutes, stirring two or three times.

Stir a few times, so the bread sops up the pudding mixture.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Top the bread mixture with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until pudding is set.
Sprinkle on some chocolate chips just before baking.
Cool 10 minutes to serve warm, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold later.  Top with whipped cream and for a little extra decadence, drizzle with hot fudge sauce.

Simply delicious!!

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