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Incredible Creamy Chocolate Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a traditional favorite in New Orleans, but this recipe goes one step beyond tradition by incorporating plenty of chocolate. The result is warm, rich, and very delicious--especially served with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 8.

1-1/2 c milk
1-3/4 c + 2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 c sugar
1-1/2 c chocolate chips
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs, beaten with a fork
1/3 large French baguette, buttered and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 c total)

Place bread cubes in a large bowl; set aside. Combine milk, cream, sugar, chocolate chips, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking occasionally, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is an even brown (no little chocolate specks floating in the milk), 10-15 minutes.

Remove chocolate mixture from heat. Add eggs, whisking constantly. Pour mixture over bread cubes. Stir with a large spoon.

Refrigerate mixture 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until all bread is thoroughly soaked.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-qt baking dish with butter. Pour pudding into dish. Bake 45 minutes. Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the dish, tucked loosely around the edges; return
pudding to oven and bake 25-30 minutes longer, until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

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