4 cups cream
4 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
7 large eggs
7 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chipsPlace an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350ºF. Grease an 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish with shortening or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Put the bread cubes into the baking dish and gently push down on them to compact them in the pan. Set aside.
Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the cream, milk, and vanilla seeds and bean. Heat the mixture until it’s steaming and just about to boil.
While the liquids are heating up, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. When the liquids are hot, carefully ladle out about 1 cup and slowly stream it into the bowl with the eggs while whisking constantly. Continue slowly whisking liquid into the eggs until you’ve added about 3 cups and the mixture is hot. Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the milk and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the point where it will coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the mixture and discard any solids that may have been collected.
Carefully and evenly pour the prepared custard over the bread cubes and press down gently on the cubes with a spatula to make sure they get evenly saturated. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the surface of the bread pudding.
Bake the bread pudding until golden brown on top and set in the middle, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Store the bread pudding in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
In association with Rachael Ray at www.rachaelray.com