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Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, plus 1 teaspoon for the whipped cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped chocolate or chips, about 4 ounces
  • 5 cups of very stale and dry bread in 3/4" to 1" cubes
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar to taste
Instructions

It's important that the bread cubes are really dry so that they soak up the milk and egg mixture before you bake it. If the bread isn't really stale, cut it into cubes and put it on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree over for an hour and a half, stirring them a couple of times. Beat the eggs on high speed in an electric mixer for about three minutes, or by hand by a person with strong arms for about six minutes. Add the sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and butter. Beat for a minute until well blended. Add the milk, nuts and chocolate and mix. Grease or butter a bread or lasagne pan that is just large enough to hold all the bread cubes. Put the bread into the pan and pour the egg and milk mixture over it. Stir it up a couple of times. Let it sit for 45 minutes. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and stir the pudding again. When the oven is hot, stir the pudding one last time and put it in the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 300 degrees. After 40 minutes, turn the oven up to 425 degrees and let it bake another 15 to 20 minutes. While the pudding is baking, whip the cream with the rest of the vanilla and powdered sugar to taste. Since the pudding is sweet, I like to keep the cream light, and I don't whip it to the point that it gets stiff. It's going to melt on the hot pudding anyway, and it has more body if it is kept a little creamy.

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