“I love it and I don’t even like bread pudding!” So said my mom. Love at first bite.

“But you used to make bread pudding when I was little,” I reminded her.

“I made it for Poppy.” But never chocolate. What a shame. I just know my grandfather would have loved it.

Do you think you hate bread pudding? You just might love this delicious recipe, clipped from the Hartford Courant years ago. I wish I could tell you whose recipe it is–I have no idea.  I can only suggest you try it as I’ve been lovin’ it for a long time. And look out–your house is gonna smell FANTASTIC as it bakes!

CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

1 baguette (about ½ pound torn into 1-inch pieces)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1.5 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup (½ stick) of butter
½ cup sugar
3 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start with a beautiful baguette–this one’s from Whole Foods.

The original recipe calls for tearing the bread, but I find it easier to cut with a knife. Tear, cut, whatever makes your heart happy. Arrange the bread in a buttered 8 x 8″ baking dish.

Melt your favorite dark chocolate. Luckily, I still have some Valrhona dark chocolate feves on hand. I also have a half-pound honkin’ bar of Valrhona, but the feves are so convenient–no chopping required! I simply let ’em go for a spin in the microwave on the defrost setting. Works like a charm every time.

Heat the cream, milk and butter. Add to the eggs, sugar and vanilla you’ve beaten in a separate bowl.  Then it’s time to add the melted chocolate to the mix!

Pour this mixture over the bread. Sprinkle liberally with cocoa powder, cinnamon and just a touch of sugar.

Place this pan into a larger (9 x 13″) pan filled with an inch or so of hot water. The water should come no higher than two thirds of the way up the side of the pudding pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge of the pan comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold. Serve for dessert or even breakfast! I like to pour a little heavy cream over the top to make it extra special good.

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