It is amazing how many dishes a single girl can make in the matter of a few hours. I swear I must spend at least 3 hours in and out of my kitchen in the evenings. I already washed my dishes from breakfast and dinner, by hand, and then, magically, I have another whole sink. Those will just have to wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be my productive day. I will do dishes, finish up this application to Simmons, email URI, fold the laundry that has now been sitting in my dryer for four days, and clean my apartment in preparation for my sister's visit! YAY! You saw it, and must hold me accountable. I MUST do everything on that list.
Anyway! Chocolate! I like Valentines Day because it gives me a perfect reason to incorporate chocolate into my dinner. Although, I shouldn't need a reason, I should just do this on a regular basis. And yes, I can consider this dinner because it had two eggs AND bread--kinda like a breakfast for dinner deal. Enter: orange infused chocolate bread pudding. The idea came about because I had some bread in my freezer begging to be used up. Stale bread. What better way to use it up than to make bread pudding?!? I can't think of a better fit. How perfect was it that it just happened to be Valentines Day, too?? Now, just plain old chocolate bread pudding sounded boring so I was thinking about what I could add to it. I first thought to add some cayenne for a kick of heat but decided against that. Then I remembered chocolate and oranges are a lovely match (Valentines Day pun??).
Orange Infused Chocolate Bread Pudding
1 cup of milk
2 slices of bread
small pinch of salt
1 t orange zest
30 g dark chocolate
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Cut bread into bite size pieces and soak in 3/4 cup of the milk + vanilla + salt+ orange zest while you prepare the rest.
3. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Only heat chocolate until just melted. Stirring with a fork in between helps chocolate melt evenly.
4. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup of milk and the cocoa powder. The cold milk will chill the chocolate down a bit before it's added to the eggs so they won't scramble.
5. Stir soaking bread, melted chocolate and beaten eggs all together.
6. Pour into oven safe dish and bake for about 20 minutes. Check for doneness and adjust cooking time accordingly.
7. Garnish with orange zest and a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy warm!
*Note: you may want to add a touch of sugar to the recipe. I do not like overly sweet food for dinner, but I did drizzle mine with a bit of maple syrup.
Something is missing you say? No, I do not have a picture of the final result. Something about bread pudding is not photogenic. Maybe it's because it comes out as a brown mass of bread cooked in custard. Sorry, you'll just have to make the recipe yourself to see the outcome. Trust me, you'll be happy you did.