Chocolate bread pudding just got better with the addition of decadent dulce de leche.
Dulce de leche:
2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1-lb. day-old loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
6 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
How to Make It
Make dulce de leche: Pour condensed milk into a bowl; set over a pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is very thick and golden brown, about 2 1/2 hours. Add more water to pot during cooking time, if necessary. Remove bowl; set aside to cool.
Make pudding: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread bread in dish; sprinkle with chocolate. In a bowl, whisk both sugars, cocoa and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, half-and-half and eggs. Dissolve espresso in vanilla; whisk into egg mixture. Whisk egg mixture into bowl with cocoa mixture. Pour over bread cubes. Cover loosely; let stand for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325°F.
Remove cover. Bake pudding until puffed and set in center, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Insert a small knife into center; it should come out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle with dulce de leche and serve with ice cream, if desired.
Dulce de Leche-a better, safer way to make it is by taking a can of sweetened condensed milk-use a can opener to take the top off-then set the top back on top of the can-place can (with label off) in a crock pot or slow cooker and fill with water to within one inch of the can. Cook on high for about 3 hours or until desired consistency. You'll know it's done when you can see the milk turning carmel colored and some of the top will sink into the can. I started mine early in the day, and it took about 10 minutes to put the dish itself together. Its not a hard dish to make if you start early in the day and want to serve it that night. Taste was excellent, too, by the way and you can ramp it up by using really good quality dark chocolate. One I would make again and put in the oven for company during dinner.