There are lots of rules about bread puddings. My least favorite is the one about using a Bain Marie to cook them. This recipe is pretty hard to goof up, since there's a nice amount of chocolate, so I don't usually bother with the hot water bath. You can do it if you want, but it is not necessary. This also never seems to mix very well. The chocolate just doesn't really mix into all the other stuff for me, so it tends to be chocolate-chunk pudding. I've used a variety of things instead of the half and half, without any bad results. Part milk, part yogurt (plain); part milk, part sour cream... you get the idea. Also, the yummier the bread, the yummier the pudding - it would be great with brioche or croissants, but I tend to use leftover store-made french bread because that's what I have available. If you get a chance to let the bread cubes dry out beforehand, that will help a little too.
1 c half-and-half
1 T dark rum
1 T vanilla
3 c bread cubes
1 large egg
1/4 c sugar
6 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Heat oven to 325-degrees. Mix the first three ingredients and toss with the bread cubes. Cream together the egg and sugar, then mix in the chocolate. Toss everything, then put into two well-greased 2-cup dishes. Put those two dishes into a large pan and fill halfway with boiling water. Put all into the oven and bake 30-35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from oven. Serve with whipped cream and grated chocolate (or just eat as-is!)
These are recipes for simple, easy, homemade dishes. I make no promises about portion size or fat content, etc., but they are dishes that I have prepared and liked. I don't post pictures because I don't have fabulous lighting, nor a great camera. I can promise that I haven't just made things up without trying the recipe and this is all stuff other people have tried and no one spit anything out in disgust. Not yet, anyway! I don't take cool supporting photos of the steps along the way (but wait, are you telling me you are going to cook those nuts in the microwave in that METAL bowl?) but these are real recipes that a regular cook/baker should be able to figure out. I love the work of Deb at Smitten Kitchen - she provides the whole package!!! Good food, witty comments and lovely photos. If you want to see a REAL food blog, check her out.