CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING
1 day-old baguette torn into small pieces
2 c. half and half
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
6 oz bittersweet chocolate in small pieces
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. If your baguette is new or still moist, heat the pieces at 200 until it starts to dry (but not toast). Place dry pieces in the baking dish, mostly filling it (if you have too much, eat some.)
Heat half and half, sugar, salt and espresso powder until hot (but not boiling) whisking regularly to mix well. Remove from heat, add chocolate, let stand for 90 seconds or so. Whisk until smooth. Beat eggs together in a separate bowl , then slowly add chocolate mixture, whisking as you go. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour mixture over bread and let soak at room temperature, pressing bread down occasionally for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325Â°F. Boil some water for a hot water bath. Place bits of butter on top of the pudding. Place pudding dish in a larger dish, adding hot water to the larger dish until it reaches halfway up the side of your pudding dish. Bake in this hot water bath until edge is set but center still trembles slightly, 35-40 minutes. Pudding will continue to set as it cools.
Serve with fresh whipped cream, either unsweetened or very lightly flavored. Serves 6. (If you double this, I’d recommend using two dishes for faster setting and an easier time with water baths.)