Although not likely invented in Kentucky, bread pudding is a horse-country standby. Amber Huffman tops her challah-based chocolate bread pudding with a caramel spiked with—what else—Kentucky bourbon: "Covering it with caramel sauce might be gilding the lily, but Jess Jackson loves caramel."
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10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 1-pound loaf challah, crusts removed, bread cut into 1-inch dice (12
Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
How to Make It
Butter an 8-by-11-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. In a medium glass bowl, microwave the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals until melted, stirring between intervals.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer over moderately high heat. In a large bowl, whisk the whole eggs and yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla and salt. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk in the melted chocolate.
Spread the challah cubes in the prepared baking dish and pour the chocolate custard over the top. Press the challah into the custard until evenly soaked, then let stand for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the bread pudding. Set the baking dish in a roasting pan and fill the pan halfway with hot water. Bake the bread pudding for 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the dish from the water bath and let stand for 20 minutes. Serve the bread pudding warm or at room temperature with the Bourbon Caramel Sauce and whipped cream.
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