Decadent chocolate bread pudding recipe. Simple enough for anyone to make, yet impressively rich and luxurious to serve at a dinner party. Use challah bread or brioche for best results. You can vary the type of chocolate to suit a variety of tastes.
Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish (or individual ramekins) and place the dry bread cubes in. Scatter the chocolate chips. (Divide evenly for individual portions).
Place the baking dish (or ramekins) onto a baking tray to make handling later on easier.
In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, then the sugar, the vanilla, the chocolate milk (or milk plus cocoa powder or milk stout) and the heavy cream.
Pour the custard over the bread cubes and chocolate chips (divide evenly if using ramekins). Let rest for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.
While the pudding is resting preheat your oven to 350 F.
Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered. The pudding will puff up and rise as the custard sets. It is done when a table knife inserted in the center of the baking dish comes out clean and the edges and top get toasty.
If you are making individual portions adjust the time downwards - around 15-20 minutes, test that the custard has set and monitor the edges/top.
Allow a couple of minutes for the pudding to cool off once you take it out of the oven. Grate (on fine) some chocolate over it if you want.
Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
*It is important for the bread to be dry in order to absorb the custard fully. Use bread that is a few days old or after cutting the bread in cubes, allow it to dry out before you start making the pudding.
**If using whole milk and cocoa powder, mix them well before adding to the custard.
If using milk stout, add it slowly - it will foam up initially.
If you prefer the flavor of dark chocolate, use dark chocolate chips and a stout brewed with roasted barley and possibly cocoa nibs. Or milk mixed with good quality cacao.