Friday, December 30, 2011

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Days before many of us will part with sweets for the new year, let me slip this one last delicious recipe in for the holidays. My sister-in-law Shannon made chocolate bread pudding recently, and it was love at first bite. I knew immediately this would be the perfect rich, gooey dessert to enjoy after the girls' Christmas recital. Friends joined us for dinner after the show, and I let the bread pudding bake during dinner. Served warm from the oven with vanilla bean ice cream, it was heavenly! The recipe follows, along with a few photos of the evening's best sweets: my little ballerinas Mary Ashley and Emma.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
Enjoy this delicious dessert a la mode while it is still warm from the oven.
6 cups cubed French bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
2 packages chocolate chips
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, and drizzle with melted margarine. Toss to coat. Mix together the sugar and cocoa powder, sprinkle evenly over the bread cubes, and toss again. Reserve 1 cup chocolate chips for glaze, and toss the rest of the first bag with the bread mixture. Spread bread cubes evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk just to the boiling point and remove from heat. Add the second package of chocolate chips, and whisk until smooth.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Slowly whisk in chocolate mixture. Pour over bread cubes in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes, or until the pudding is set but the center moves slightly when the dish is shaken.

Meanwhile, prepare glaze. Place reserved cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup cream in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave, stirring frequently, until the chips are melted. Whisk in the confectioners sugar until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle over warm pudding, and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Emma took center stage with her class for the first song of the night. This is the first year the girls have been in separate ballet classes, so they were excited to watch each other's performances. Emma was a little bashful when she first went onstage, but she warmed up and her cute personality came through.

Mary Ashley (second from the right, sitting) moved up to an older class this year, and her performance brought tears to my eyes. She floated gracefully across the stage, and friends said she needed wings because she looked like a little fairy. She is a natural ballerina!

Here are our little ballerinas, ready to head home for some chocolate bread pudding!

Wishing You and Yours a Happy and Blessed New Year!

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