There are myriad variations on the recipe for bread pudding. The basis, tho, is stale bread and a few eggs. For this recipe (stolen directly from Paula Deen) the big ingredient is chocolate! Take a gander:
1 lb loaf of stale French or Italian bread, cubed
3 c whole milk
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c cold coffee
1 c sugar
1 c light brown sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
6 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ozs grated semisweet chocolate
whipped cream (optional) (Yeah, right, optional. Like you'd skip the whipped cream!)
Preheat oven to 325.
Lightly grease 13x9" baking dish and place bread in dish, covering the bottom. (I shredded the bread rather than cubing as it went faster that way.) In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream and coffee. In a second bowl, combine the sugars & cocoa powder and mix well. Add the sugar mixture to the milk mixture and mix well. To the beaten eggs, add the vanilla and almond extracts and the cinnamon. Combine egg mixture to the milk & sugar mixture, mix well. Stir in the grated chocolate (buy it grated, it's a bear to try to grate it yourself!)
Pour the mixture over the bread in the pan. Let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to soak all of the bread evenly. All of the liquid should be mostly absorbed before baking. Bake for 1 hour or until set (no liquid should be evident). An inserted knife should come out clean.
Serve warm or cold, topped with whipped cream.
Notes from me: this was way too sweet and, I can't believe I'm saying this, way too chocolate-y. Next time I make it, I will reduce the sugar, probably by cutting out the white sugar altogether and reduce the amount of semisweet chocolate to 6 ozs instead of 8. I chopped the semisweet baking chocolate blocks rather than grating as the grating was taking damn near forever!
Guests told us they remembered their mothers making this with chocolate milk rather than the cocoa & semisweet, so that's an option as well.
You could also sub non-fat milk to cut a good chunk of the calories out. But, this isn't supposed to be a healthy 'meal', it's a comfort food dessert or breakfast starter!
White Cedar Inn Bed & Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032