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1. Place dry bread cubes in the bottom of a well-buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish (3-quart rectangular). Sprinkle the chocolate and pecans, walnuts, or almonds over dry bread cubes and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the bread, the chocolate pieces, and the nuts. Gently push down on the bread cubes with the back of a large spoon, making sure the bread absorbs the egg mixture, and the chocolate pieces and nuts are covered with the egg mixture.
3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If the top starts to over-brown, cover loosely with foil until custard is set. Cool the bread pudding slightly. Serve warm with Brown-Sugar Sauce. Makes 12 servings.
1. In a small heavy saucepan, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Add half-and-half or light cream, light-colored corn syrup and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly (mixture may look curdled). Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm over bread pudding. (Cover and chill any leftover sauce for up to 3 days.) Makes 1-1/2 cups sauce, twelve 2-tablespoon servings of sauce.