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Harvest Chocolate Bread Pudding

1 loaf egg bread, preferably challah or brioche (should weigh about 1 lb.)
2 C. whole milk
2 C. heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1 C. sugar
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, cut into pieces

Remove and discard all the crusts from the bread and cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Put the bread into a large bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, scald the milk and cream, without letting it boil.

While the milk is heating, put the egg yolks into a bowl. Whisking constantly, mix in the sugar until well combined.

When a small ring of bubbles has appeared around the edge of the milk, remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. Whisking constantly to prevent curdling, whisk two cups of the hot chocolate milk into the yolks, one cup at a time. Then whisk the yolks back into the rest of the milk.

Strain the chocolate milk-yolk mixture over the bread cubes and soak one hour or until the cubes have absorbed the liquid (there will be extra liquid). Transfer into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 375F. for approximately 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the pudding comes out clean.

Serve warm with bourbon-flavored whipped cream and a dusting of sugar.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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