Double-Chocolate Bread Pudding with Strawberry Sauce
Lightly coat the inside of a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Set cooker aside.Advertisement
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sugar and butter over medium heat until very warm but not boiling, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add chocolate pieces and cocoa powder (do not stir); let stand for 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Whisk until smooth; cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
In a very large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and chocolate mixture. Gently stir in bread cubes. Transfer bread mixture to prepared cooker.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting about 2 1/2 hours or until mixture is puffed and seems set when gently shaken. Turn off cooker. If possible, remove crockery liner from cooker and place on wire rack. Cool, uncovered, for 30 minutes (pudding will fall slightly as it cools).
Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce. In a blender or food processor, puree strawberries with their syrup and the strawberry preserves until smooth. Cover; refrigerate until serving.
To serve, spoon warm pudding into dessert dishes and serve with the strawberry sauce.
*To make dried bread cubes, cut a soft supermarket Italian bread loaf (not crusty) into 3/4-inch cubes to make 6 cups (you will need about 9 ounces of bread). Spread bread cubes evenly in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 300° oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are dry, stirring twice. Cool.