Spiced Semisweet Chocolate Walnut Bread Pudding

  • Yield 10 to 12 servings

Dark chocolate and roasted walnuts in bread pudding. Do we have your attention?

You can add raisins or dried cranberries or cherries if you like. You can also omit the liqueur. For a vegan version, use soy, oat or rice-based milk.

Ingredients

2 (3-ounce) bars dark chocolate
1/4 cup Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur, optional
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup firm-packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups 2-percent milk
1 large loaf day-old French or Italian bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 (3-ounce) bar dark chocolate with nuts (preferably hazelnuts), chopped for garnish
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whipped cream, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 6- to 8-cup (9 x 5-inch) loaf pan (you can use butter, margarine or soy margarine).
  2. Break dark chocolate bars into squares in a metal mixing bowl or top of a double boiler. Add liqueur, if using, and place over a pot of boiling water and stir as it melts or put it in a microwave-safe dish and microwave 2 minutes on high until melted. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Whisk eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla extract and reserved chocolate together in a large mixing bowl until very smooth. Add the milk and mix well. Add bread and refrigerate mixture 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with remaining chopped bar chocolate with nuts. Sprinkle walnuts over top.
  5. Cover loosely with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake 20 to 25 minutes until pudding is set in center. Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into 1-inch-thick slices and serving topped with whipped cream.
* If you only have fresh bread, bake it in a 350F oven about 15 minutes to dry it out.

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