Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
7 large eggs, plus
3 large egg yolks
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (Or semisweet cut into small chunks and divided)

DIRECTIONS:

Day before you want the pudding or early on the same day, preheat the oven to 350*F and butter and flour a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
Whisk together dry ingredients.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add 3 of the eggs one at a time, then add pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Beat until just blended.
Melt 4 ounces of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth.
Spoon half of the batter into the loaf pan, spoon half of the melted chocolate on top, swirling it into the batter with a skewer. Repeat with remaining batter and chocolate.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto the rack and turn right side up. Cool completely before proceeding.
Butter a 9 X 13 inch casserole dish and heat oven to 375*F/180*C.
Slice the pumpkin loaf into 1/2 inch thick slices, arranging them, overlapping to till the baking dish.
Beat the 4 remaining eggs and egg yolks together until frothy with an electric mixer on medium speed. Slowly beat in the sugar, beating until thick and lemon coloured. Stir in the pumpkin puree, half and half, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
Carefully ladle the custard mixture over the bread slices in the casserole until the dish is filled to the top. Evenly distribute the the remaining chocolate chunks over top.
Set the baking dish into a larger baking pan and fill the larger pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the casserole.
Place in the hot oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Protecting your hands with heavy oven mitts, using a large spoon, push the bread down until the still liquid custard rises in the dish. Spoon the custard evenly over the bread slices again. Bake for about 10 minutes more until a skewer inserted in the center comes out barely clean. Let cool on a rack.
Serve sprinkled with confectioners sugar accompanied with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche.
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