Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

Posted on 19 July 2017

Here’s the ultimate baked goods makeover, or shall we say, “bakeover.” In almost fairy-tale style, this recipephany transforms neglected, over-the-hill bread into a deep, dark, restaurant-worthy chocolate dessert.

Expect big flavors—cocoa, dark chocolate, a glug of rum, coffee, cinnamon, scads of vanilla, a drizzle of molasses, and chopped pecans—blended into a sweet base of eggs, milk and a little cream. Oh, and I almost forgot—stale bread.

While any kind of bread will do, including a rustic loaf or rich challah, I prefer Claire’s Honey Whole Wheat. I wouldn’t use it with regular bread pudding, where you need a crunchier or richer bread to dominate. But in this case, where chocolate takes center stage, it melts into the custard, deepening the color and flavor. Despite its wholesome image, whole wheat loves to party with chocolate. Who knew?

This is as easy as pie—no, easier. Just mix and pour into the prepared dish. No need to precook or melt anything, or to use that hot water bath called for when baking custard. Feel free to mess around with proportions to suit your taste, and I bet you can even add in goodies like dried cranberries or cherries.

It may be called pudding, but it won’t wobble or jiggle as you’d expect. It glistens on top with a sugary glaze, and wants to be cut like brownies rather than scooped. But it’s better than brownies in the summer. It stays cool and fresh in the fridge. I dressed mine up with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and (sigh) the last of our summer raspberries.

So save those odd pieces of whole wheat bread (preferably in the freezer) and give them a grand, chocolatey, Cinderella ending.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

  • 8 cups of bread cut into rough 1-inch cubes (do not pack), preferably whole wheat
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee crystals
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Place bread cubes in a greased 8×12-inch baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cream, rum and instant coffee.
  4. In another bowl, combine sugar, molasses and cocoa. Add to the milk mixture and whisk together.
  5. In the bowl you just emptied, lightly beat the eggs. Add vanilla and cinnamon, then add that to the milk mixture and whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Pour evenly over the bread, stir around, then let it stand for about 20 minutes or until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid. Bake about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm or chilled, plain or with whipped cream and berries.
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