Posting date is September 7th!
CHOCOLATE-CHUNK PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING
For the Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread
1 1⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (see page 100)
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
For the Pumpkin Custard
2 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 cups half-and-half, at room temperature
13⁄4 cups pumpkin puree (see page 100)
41⁄2 ounces (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Yield: One 9-by-13-inch pudding (18 to 24 servings)
Make the Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and oil until combined. Add the sugar and whisk again. Whisk the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Add 2⁄3 cup room-temperature water and whisk until combined. Stir in the chocolate.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 65 to 85 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and cool completely, 30 to 45 minutes. The loaf can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 2 days.
Toast the bread
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the loaf into 1-inch cubes (you should have approximately 7 cups of cubes). Spread the cubes out onto the prepared baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, flip the cubes with a spatula, and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cubes are toasted. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool, 15 to 25 minutes.
Make the Pumpkin Custard
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar until combined.
Add the half-and-half, pumpkin puree, and 5 tablespoons of the butter and whisk until well combined. Add the salt, cloves, cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and vanilla and whisk again. Stir in 6 cups of the toasted bread cubes until all the cubes are coated in the mixture. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
Assemble the bread pudding
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan (glass is preferred).
Toss the reserved 1 cup of bread cubes with the remaining butter.
Pour the custard into the prepared pan. Scatter the buttered cubes over the custard.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before serving warm. Feel free to serve as is, or with unsweetened whipped cream or caramel sauce (page 59), or simply sprinkle the top with sifted confectioners’ sugar.
Bread pudding tastes best fresh from the oven, but you can refrigerate any leftover bread pudding, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. Slice and reheat it in a 225-degree-F oven until warm to the touch before serving.