This makes a very large portion. For a 9×12 baking pan, cut the recipe in half.
• 1 large loaf challah, cut into 1-inch cubes (no need to remove crust)
• 1 lb dark chocolate, broken into pieces
• 12 eggs
• 3 cups heavy cream
• 4 cups milk (lowfat is okay)
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 Tbsp cinnamon
• 2 Tbsp ground pure chile (not chili powder)
• 1 tsp cayenne
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 large jar of your favorite Marionberry Cinnamon jam
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pile the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 15 minutes. You want them to dry out a bit before mixing them with the custard so that they absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Remove them from the oven and let them cool a bit. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
While the bread is toasting, put the chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate on high for 1 minute, let it rest, then zap it for 1 minute more. Remove the chocolate and stir it with a spatula or spoon until it is smooth and melted.
In a very large bowl, mix together the eggs, cream, milk, sugar and spices. Add the melted chocolate and whisk until the mixture is smooth (this is easier said than done, and it might clump up a bit, but don’t worry about it — it will still taste great). Put the bread in the bowl, toss well, and let the bread soak in the custard mixture at least half an hour and up to two hours, tossing occasionally to make sure all the bread cubes are well coated.
Spray a very large baking pan (or two medium baking pans) with cooking spray. Spread a 1-inch layer of the bread-custard mixture into the pan(s) and then spread with half of the jam. Spread an additional layer of the bread-custard mixture over the jam. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, until the pudding is set. Remove the pudding from the oven and let it sit at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, with additional jam on the top. Makes enough for the whole office.