Chocolate Cinnamon Bread Pudding

This house is filled with chocolate lovers, especially dark chocolate lovers.  My oldest son has the bug almost as badly as I do.  He is coming home this weekend.  His last chance before his final year of school begins.

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I recently saw a recipe for a chocolate bread pudding, but it had too many steps including whipped egg whites.  Others I read were either overly fat filled or, had almost non at all but used other things for thickeners.  I’m a firm believer in moderation and real flavors.

I ended up looking at numerous recipes to come up with something delectable, but wouldn’t require me to spend the rest of my weekend on the tread mill!

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This one has cream in it, but also 1% milk, fewer eggs and whole eggs, not just the yolks.  It also used two types of chocolate to boost the flavor:  Dutch processed cocoa and bittersweet chocolate chips.  Dutch processed cocoa is much less bitter than regular cocoa powder so you don’t need as much sugar.  Chocolate chip means you don’t have to spend time chopping up the chocolate!

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I also wanted to have cinnamon play a part here so I used a cinnamon swirled bread that is almost as rich as a challah bread, but not quite.  It gives another layer of flavor that compliments the chocolate.  Toasting the bread helps improve adsorption of the liquids and can be done while preparing the other ingredients.  Melting the chocolate chips with a bit of cream in the microwave gives you both a sauce to top the pudding with and the chocolate base for the custard.

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My guys loved this.  Starting with the glorious smell of cinnamon bread toasting in the oven to the final dish with a drizzle of chocolate sauce over the top.

Makes 6 servings

You’ll need:

7 cups of cinnamon bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 3/4 cup cream, divided

1 cup 1% (low fat) milk

1/2 cup raw sugar, divided

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa (I use Droste)

5 0z bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 300 F.  Place bread cubes evenly on a large baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 25 minutes.

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While the bread is toasting….

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, warm 3/4 cup cream, milk, dutch cocoa and 1/4 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture is steaming.  Do not boil.

Remove bread from oven and place into a large mixing bowl.  Increase oven temperature to 325F.  Pour dutch cocoa mixture over bread cubes and toss gently.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes while liquid is adsorbed, tossing a couple of times.

While this bread and cocoa get friendly…..

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup cream and chocolate chips.  Use your microwaves “melt chocolate” setting or use 60-90 secs at 50-70% power to heat the mixture, but not to a boil.  Whisk mixture until smooth and glossy.

In the pan you heated the cocoa mixture (no need to wash it out), make your custard.  Whisk together remaining cream, 1/4 cup sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Add 1/2 cup of your melted chocolate/cream mix (the rest is for drizzling over the final pudding before serving-cover and set aside) to the custard mixture in your pan, no heat required.  Whisk until the melted chocolate is blended into the custard.

Now that your bread has adsorbed most or all of your cocoa sauce, pour it into a greased 2 quart shallow baking dish.  Pour your custard mixture over the top of the bread cubes.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until custard is set and top has begun to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to stand for another 30 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with chocolate sauce (warm sauce for a few seconds in the microwave if needed to liquify).  Enjoy!

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