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Ingredients for 12 servings:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate (Lindt or Ghirardelli)

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 loaf day-old brioche, challah or sandwich bread, sliced, crusts trimmed


2 cups milk

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter a 2 quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.


  • Break up the chocolate into small  pieces.  Combine pieces in a microwave safe bowl with the whipping cream and 2 tablespoons butter cut into quarters.  Microwave for 1 minute on full power.  Stop and turn the bowl and heat for another 30 seconds.  Stir together the warmed ingredients until smooth.  Set aside.


  • Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a quart measuring cup.


  • Piece together a layer of bread in the prepared casserole.  Ladle on 1 cup of the custard. Drizzle on 1/3 of the chocolate.


  • Repeat with another layer of bread, half the remaining custard, and most of the chocolate.  Finish with a layer of bread, the rest of the custard and the drizzle on the remaining chocolate.  Cut up remaining tablespoon butter and scatter it over the top.


  • Cover the pan with buttered aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool on a rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.




Ingredients for 1 1/ 2 cups:

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup half and half cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons bourbon



  • Heat the creams, vanilla, and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until the milk starts to bubble at the edges, whisking occasionally.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the bourbon.


  • Whisk in the bourbon mixture into the hot cream.  Take the pan off the heat and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth.  Return to the heat and cook, still whisking for 1 minute.  Serve immediately with bread pudding or refrigerate and reheat at a later time either in a double boiler or in the microwave.