This recipe takes the traditional bread pudding and elevates the richness (and deliciousness) with the addition of bittersweet chocolate to the rich custard mix.
I downsized and made 1/3 of the recipe recipe, which yielded enough for 3 individual ramekins. I used Trader Joe's Cinnamon Swirl Bread (if you haven't tried this, it is AMAZING for french toast or plain ole cinnamon toast) and tossed in a small handful of dried tart cherries. Going with the cherry theme, I added 1 tbsp of kirsch to the custard mixture. Cherries and chocolate - you can't go wrong with that combination.
With the individual ramekins, it only required 20 minutes in the oven in a hot water bath for the custard to set. Once the individual puddings are allowed to rest and cool slightly, I poured creme anglaise on top and let the creamy goodness seep into the still warm pudding. At this point, I'm at the caloric point of no return with all of the cream, eggs and sugar, so a little more fat from the creme anglaise won't hurt, would it?
If you're seriously jonesin' for chocolate, this dessert should satisfy that craving. I thought the pudding had a better consistency when eaten warm (at room temp, the pudding had a funky rubbery texture). My favorite part of the dessert was the dried cherries, as the tartness helped to balance out the richness of the dessert.