Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. We missed seeing our family and friends in the Midwest, but enjoyed celebrating with my California family! Here is the promised post of the chocolate pecan bread pudding. My sister made it five years ago at Christmas, and we now love to eat it every year. I made it late last night, pulled it out of the oven, and scooped it right onto our plates. The aroma alone is amazing, it smells like joy. The pudding has great flavor with little surprises of melted chocolate in every bite. It’s easy to make and does not disappoint. Once again, Brioche or Challah is recommended, but French bread or something similar works as well. I used a loaf of 2 day old French bread last night. It was really delicious, and we are already looking forward to leftovers. (I halved the recipe for the two of us, but will post the full recipe.)

serves: 8+

4 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (recommended: Ghirardelli 60% cacao)
12 oz. bread cubes (about 8 cups)

melted butter for pan

1 cup pecan halves, whole or chopped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted

Stir together the eggs, sugar, milk, cream, vanilla, and chocolate. Gently stir in the bread cubes and set aside for an hour. Stir once or twice during that time to allow the bread to absorb the liquid.

Pour some melted butter in a 9” x 13” baking pan and pour in the bread pudding.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the bread pudding.

Bake in a 325° oven until the internal temperature is 155°. (about 30-35 minutes, or a little longer if you prefer it more “dry”. )

Serve immediately with a cup of good coffee!

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