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Ultimate Chocolate Bread Pudding

When I really want to impress guests, I serve this decadent bread pudding. With just a few staple ingredients—bread, eggs, sugar and chocolate—I'm able to turn out this masterpiece in no time! —Erin Chilcoat, Smithtown, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound egg bread or challah, cubed
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons brandy, optional
  • SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM:
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brandy, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-in. springform pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Cube remaining butter; place in a small saucepan. Add chocolate chips and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Gently stir in bread; let stand until bread is softened, about 15 minutes. Fold in chocolate mixture. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake, uncovered, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for sauce, heat cream in a small heavy saucepan until bubbles form around sides. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, brown sugar and salt. Whisk a small amount of hot cream into egg mixture; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in butter. Fold in pecans and coconut. If desired, stir in brandy. Cool.
  • For whipped cream, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and, if desired, brandy; beat until soft peaks form.
  • Loosen sides of pan with a knife. Carefully run a knife around edge of springform pan to loosen; remove rim from pan. Serve pudding warm with sauce and whipped cream.
Editor's Note
To toast nuts and coconut, bake in separate shallow pans in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

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