Chocolate-Cranberry Bread Pudding

Cool evenings + day od bread. I like to use day-old French Bread in bread pudding because it has more flavor than the gummy white kind. Cinnamon-raisin bread, sweet rolls, even left over Irish soda bread can also be substituted for part of the bread. Puree some seasonal berries for a sauce or serve with a little chocolate sauce, spiked for festive gatherings.

Chocolate-Cranberry Bread Pudding Recipe

Makes 10-12 servings | From George Hirsch Living it UP! TV series 

3-4 cups cubed dry French bread
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberry, raisins, or craisins plumped in 1 cup hot water for 5 minutes
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 cups milk
8 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 Teaspoon nutmeg 

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, butter, and beat with a whisk until well blended. Slowly pour over the bread, cranberry/raisin, nut and chocolate mixture. Poke the bread so that it’s completely covered with the milk mixture and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  

Place a pan larger than the cake pan or skillet in preheated oven and place the pan holding the bead pudding inside. Immediately fill the outer pan with enough hot water so that it comes up one inch on the sides of the bread-pudding pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 25 additional minutes.

Remove the bread-pudding and allow to set for two hours before removing it from the pan.

Serve with warm fruit, vanilla or chocolate sauce.