4 cups (1L) dense bread, cubed 1" (25 mm)
3 3.5-ounce (100 g) bars good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
½ cup (125 mL) toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) heavy whipping cream, divided
1 cup (250 mL) half-and-half, divided
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Irish cream liqueur (optional)
3 tablespoons (45 mL) cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
lightly sweetened whipped cream
Toss bread cubes with ½ cup (125 mL) chopped chocolate and toasted pecans in large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk ½ cup (125 mL) cream, ½ cup (125 mL) half-and-half and cocoa powder in a heavy-bottomed saucepan to blend. Add remaining chocolate. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining ½ cup cream, ½ cup (125 mL) half-and-half and Irish cream liqueur. Whisk eggs, egg yolk and sugar together in a medium bowl. Whisk in chocolate-cream mixture. Stir into bread mixture. Refrigerate and let stand for 1 hour for bread to absorb some of the custard.
Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Butter an 8"x 8" (20 x 20 cm) pan. Pour in bread mixture and bake until set in centre, about 35-40 minutes.
Top warm pudding with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.