Bread Pudding

8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 (1-pound) brioche bread, crust removed and cut or broken into
1-inch squares
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a simmer on
the stove to use as a hot water bath.

Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Combine
the cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan, and heat to a bare
simmer. Remove from heat and pour a little of the cream into the
egg mixture while whisking, to temper the eggs, then whisk the
remaining cream until fully combined. Strain the mixture into a
large bowl, discarding the vanilla pod.

Fold the bread cubes in with the custard base, and set aside for a
few minutes to give the bread time to soak in the custard. When the
bread is soaked and the mixture is cooled slightly, very gently
fold in most of the chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into a
greased 2-quart baking or gratin dish, and sprinkle over the
remaining chocolate chips. Place the baking dish in a roasting pan
and fill the larger pan with the hot water to form a water bath.

Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and bake until the
bread pudding puffs and a toothpick inserted in the center comes
out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 8-12

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