½ loaf stale challah or French bread (6 C. stale/dry chocolate cake cut into cubes)
1 C milk
2 C heavy cream
¾ C sugar (excluded)
¼ tsp cinnamon (increased to ½ tsp)
1 tsp orange zest (excluded)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ C raisins (excluded)
½ C chopped pecans (substituted ½ C choc chips)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a baking dish.
In a large bowl, beat together milk, cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla. Add cubed bread and stir to combine. Add raisins and pecans and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan. (As the cake is more fragile than bread, I first placed the cake cubes and choc chips in the baking dish, combined the remaining ingredients, and poured the custard mixture over the cake cubes.)
Bake until browned and custard is set, approximately 1 hour.
The verdict ---I was absolutely surprised that this could pass for a respectable dessert! You really don’t see the layers of cake as you would with a bread pudding, but it does remind me of a flourless chocolate cake or a fallen soufflé cake. Thanks to my fellow foodies at chowhound for helping me brainstorm through this problem!