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Ingredients

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Directions

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  • Lightly grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. Lightly spread one side of toasted bread slices with the 1/4 cup softened butter; set aside.

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  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk, whipping cream, the 3/4 cup sugar, and the salt. Bring mixture to simmering, whisking constantly to dissolve sugar.

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  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the 8 eggs and the vanilla. Gradually whisk about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture into egg mixture. Return egg-milk mixture to saucepan. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into melted chocolate until smooth and glossy. (Mixture may begin to clump and harden, but will become smooth.)

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  • Arrange half of the toasted bread slices, buttered sides up, in the prepared baking dish, tearing slices if necessary to fit. Drizzle with about two-thirds of the chocolate mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices and drizzle with the remaining chocolate mixture. Pour the milk mixture over all; press lightly with the back of a large spoon to moisten bread. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand for 30 minutes, pressing bread frequently so it continues soaking up milk mixture.

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  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

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  • For sauce, in a small saucepan, melt the 1/2 cup butter. Stir in the 1 cup sugar, the water, and egg yolks. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling. Remove from heat; stir in bourbon.

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  • If desired, top each serving of warm bread pudding with sweetened whipped cream. Serve with sauce. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

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