Let it be known that I like to cook. Let it also be known that I also like to eat. But with many recipes, I prefer the act of cooking to the final product. This is not one of those recipes. I could eat an entire pan by myself, possibly in one sitting. I have fond memories of this recipe; it was one of my most favorite things that my mother made. She's finally passed it on to me, and it is everything that I remember; I hope you will agree.

What You Will Need:

1 qt. Whole milk
1 C. sugar
2-1 oz. squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
12 slices white bread*
1 pt. heavy cream (this is not optional. Really.)

A big-ass bowl
A 3-quart saucepan
A 13" x 9" baking dish or pan

* I like to buy my bread at 7-11 because for $1.19 you get a sinfully large loaf of bad bread, which is perfect for making recipes like this, which rely on the bread only as a medium for absorbing yummy stuff.

What You Need to Do:

Like most bread pudding, this is made with stale bread; if your bread isn't stale, put it in a medium oven for a few minutes to dry it out a bit. Once you've got bread of the appropriate consistency, tear it into not-too-small pieces and arrange it in your pan. You should be able to fill up the entire pan with this amount of bread. Next, in your big-ass bowl, whisk the holy hell out of the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well-combined.

Now normally, I'd have told you to put the milk on the stovetop while you take care of everything else, but it has a tendency to burn if you look away even for a moment, so we'll do it now. Scald the milk, and mix in the chocolate when it's good and hot. You will also want to begin pre-heating your oven to 350°F. Once the milk is ready, temper it with the egg mixture and mix well. Pour this goo over the bread, making sure to soak it thoroughly. Toss the pan into your hot oven and let it bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven at once and let cool. When the pudding has reached room temperature, cover and refrigerate until completely cooled.

Serve drizzled with heavy cream. Enjoy. Think of me.

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