Food on Friday: Breaking for bread pudding

By Julia Westhoff

It was about this time last year that I shared my recipe for Cake Donut Bread Pudding.

I think we can all agree that bread pudding is one of life’s greatest gifts (in my book it’s right up there with Shatto Root Beer Milk, the Bravo network and dry shampoo). There’s something about this time of year that compels me to tuck into a warm bowl of bread pudding for breakfast, dinner, and anything in between. I served this chocolate bread pudding for a lunch meeting I had at my house on Monday. We had light main course (Santa Rosa chicken salad – another much-loved recipe highlighted in this column), followed by a heavy dessert (my ideal meal, really).

Of course, Paula Deen rarely steers me wrong with desserts that involve copious amounts of sugar and booze, and this recipe was no different. It was wonderfully moist, with hints of amaretto, chocolate and cinnamon. It’s also a good excuse to buy some Bailey’s (which has since shown up in my coffee and on my ice cream). Enjoy!

Recipe’s after the jump.

Paula Deen’s Chocolate Bread Pudding

1-pound loaf French or Italian bread, cut into cubes
3 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Place the bread in the baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and liqueur.

In another bowl, combine the granulated and brown sugars with the cocoa powder and mix well. Add this to the milk mixture and whisk to combine.

Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the cinnamon to the beaten eggs. Combine the egg mixture with the milk mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread cubes; let stand, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes, or until the bread has absorbed most of the milk mixture. Bake the pudding for 1 hour, or until set; a knife inserted into the center of the pudding should come out clean. Serving the pudding warm, or refrigerate it and serve chilled.

Serve it warm or cold, with whipped cream or a dessert sauce.