CHOCOLATE-CINNAMON BREAD PUDDING

I made this dessert with leftover baguettes, froze it, and thawed and cooked it later for an easy desert.  It's best to measure the bread by weight.  Serve with half and half and Coeur d'Alene Cellars BDX.

2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/4 ounces unsweetened cocoa (1/2 cup)
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
12 ounces cubed french bread (about 10 cups)
cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar
half and half

Combine sugar and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Heat milk over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).  Remove from heat, add cocoa and chocolate, stirring with a whisk until cocoa dissolves and chocolate melts.  Gradually add hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add bread, tossing to coat.  Let mixture stand for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Spoon bread mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.  Serve with half and half.  Serves 8.

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