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Chocolate Bread Pudding

This recipe was originally obtained from the culinary specialist at one of the local Byerly's grocery stores here in Minneapolis.  I changed it radically, more than doubling the amounts of chocolate and sugar.  Jay approved!

4 cups cubed cinnamon bread
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
4  1-ounce squares semi-sweet chocolate, slightly chopped or broken apart
2 large-size eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

heavy cream to serve
, or Butter Sauce

Pour bread cubes into a large bowl.  Scald milk; stir in sugar, butter and chocolate until chocolate is mostly melted.  Let stand for 15 minutes, then stir in the beaten eggs and the vanilla.

Pour mixture into a buttered 1-1/2 quart casserole (a small soufflé dish, or a 7-inch springform pan will work), or the mixture could be divided between individual ramekins or custard cups.  Bake at 350° until knife inserted in center comes out clean (about 50-60 minutes).  Serve with heavy cream, Butter Sauce, or with vanilla ice cream.

4-5 servings.

Notes:  You can also add some chunked chocolate to the bread mixture just before putting it into the oven, and it will melt as it bakes.)