I know *last* week was Valentine’s, but I was still in Scotland mode and couldn’t get my head around hearts and cupids.
This week is my birthday though (woo hoo!) so I’ve decided to indulge myself by pulling out some of the most chocolatey recipes in my “Things I Want to Try Making” binder (yes, I really have one of those).
Yesterday I had some leftover French bread around the house and decided it was time to try a Chocolate Bread Pudding. It’s something my grandma used to make when I was little and I haven’t had in at least 20 years, and my mom has been talking about it lately, so I figured I’d give her a treat.
My coworkers don’t have exclusive rights to my baking, you know.
So, cube up some French bread, or challah or other slightly stale loaf. Nothing too fresh or it will just get mushy instead of awesome and yummy.
Next, melt half your chocolate, then mix it up with everything except the rest of the chocolate.
Pour it over the bread and stir it a bit to make sure all the bread is coated. Leave it for 30 minutes, but stir it a few times within that 30 minutes to get the bread evenly coated.
Put half of the mixture in your bread pan, then sprinkle some of the chocolate chips on top. I also added walnuts, because I like a good crunch. If you want to go crazy, you could throw in caramels, mini peanut butter cups, chopped up Snickers or anything else that sounds gooey and fun.
Add the rest of the bread and top with the remaining chocolate chips, walnuts and whatever. Bake for 50-60 minutes. 50 if you want it a little softer and more custard-like, 60 if you like it a little more crispy on top. I like crispy.
I served it up in bowls with some sliced banana on top (so that it gives the illusion of being a healthy dessert) and a little whipped cream.
And it was fantastic! Very chocolatey, warm and gooey, perfect for a cold winter night. Ok, it was about 60 in my area of California yesterday evening, but I saw pictures of other parts of the country on the news and some people looked very cold. So I ate it for them.
Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I only had dark chocolate chips at home, and they worked fine)4 eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Kahlua (or the booze of your choice)
2 cups milk
4 cups cubed, stale French bread
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
Melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips and set aside. (If you add it to the eggs right away you’ll wind up with cooked, scrambled eggs)
Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate. Once you have it whisked smooth, add the milk and keep whisking until blended. Pour over the bread and leave it to absorb the liquid for 30 minutes. Gently stir it a few times as it sits to evenly coat the bread.
Put half the bread mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream, or go crazy and top with chocolate syrup or caramel sauce.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz