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CHOCOLATE BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

9 slices, each 0.25 inch (5mm) thick, good quality white bread, 1 day
old, taken from a large loaf
5 oz (150g) dark chocolate with 75 percent cocoa solids
15 fl oz (425 ml) whipping cream
4 tablespoons dark rum
4 oz (110 g) caster sugar (US superfine, but granulated will do)
3 oz (75 g) butter
pinch cinnamon
3 large eggs

double (heavy) cream, well chilled

Begin by removing the crusts from the slices of bread, which should
leave you with approximately 9 x 4 inch (10 cm) squares. So now
cut each slice into 4 triangles. Next place the chocolate, whipping
cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl set over a saucepan
of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch
the water, then wait until the butter and chocolate have melted
and the sugar has completely dissolved. Next remove the bowl from
the heat and give it a really good stir to amalgamate all the
ingredients.

Now in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then pour the chocolate
mixture over them and whisk again very thoroughly to blend them
together.

Then spoon about a half inch (1 cm) layer of the chocolate mixture
into the base of the dish and arrange half the bread triangles over
the chocolate in overlapping rows. Now pour half the remaining
chocolate mixture all over the bread as evenly as possible then
arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a
layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread gently down so
that it gets covered very evenly with the liquid as it cools.

Cover the dish with clingfilm (plastic food wrap) and allow to
stand at room temperature for 2 hours before transferring it to
the fridge for a minimum of 24 (but preferably 48) hours before
cooking. When you're ready to cook the pudding, preheat the oven
to 350F (180C). Remove the clingfilm and bake in the oven on a
high shelf for 30-35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy
and the inside soft and squidgy. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes
before serving with well-chilled double (heavy) cream poured over.

If you were feeling really sinful, you could grate some more
chocolate over the top and pop it under the broiler for a few
seconds just to melt the chocolate.

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