Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding

December 29, 2008 |  Category:   baked goods + desserts recipes

bread_pudding1.jpg

It has been quite a while since I’ve had a Christmas away from work. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but from what I’m told it was much like the previous years: open presents early, then try to find ways to entertain ourselves for the rest of the day. I fiddled with my new iPhone for a while, then decided to give my thumbs a rest. I wondered what other families did on Christmas. Cooking, of course! Having been so busy for the past few weeks I haven’t really cooked anything nice for the family in a while (note my lack of blog posts during that time period), and I actually felt like spending some time in the kitchen. After some discussion we decided I should make a bread pudding. We bundled up the kids, drove to the supermarket and…it was closed, just like everything else on Christmas. We turned around and drove back empty handed. The bread pudding would have to wait. I made it two days later and it didn’t disappoint. It could be one of the most satisfying holiday desserts there is. If you are not planning to serve this to children you could try soaking the dried cherries in brandy for an hour before you bake it for a little extra something to warm you up on a cold winter evening.

Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding (Serves 8-10)

Bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see below)
6 eggs
2 cups light cream
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cherries
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

For the bread, I strongly suggest using either challah or brioche, but almost any neutral flavored bread will do – the moister, the better. Some people also swear by croissants, so try that as well. Cut just as much as you need to almost fill your baking dish. This time I used a deep 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. I cut up six challah rolls (each about the size of a hamburger bun) and it filled it up perfectly.

After preparing the bread, preheat the oven to 350. Mix the eggs, cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the bread and let it soak while the oven preheats. If the bread is fairly dry it would benefit from some extra soaking time. Mix in the dried cherries and chopped chocolate. When the oven is hot, spray your baking dish with a non-stick spray, pour in the soaked bread, and bake for about 30 minutes until fully cooked. If your pan is not so deep it will require less cooking time. It should rise in the center and feel firm to the touch, not unlike a loaf of banana bread. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving. This is best served warm, with or without ice cream (we had it without and there were no complaints).

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  • Andrew Thornton December 29, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    This looks yummy! I’m a sucker for bread pudding. Well, pudding almost anything. I will have to give this a try, for sure.

  • courtney December 30, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I just made bread pudding for the first time for Christmas and it was a hit. However, anything involving chocolate is a temptation for me. I look forward to trying the recipe–thanks!

  • selkie December 30, 2008 at 9:11 am

    mmmmmm yummy.
    Welcome back to relaxed days cooking for family again!
    Wishing you all the best of everything in 2009!

  • Lani December 30, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Did you know that I love bread pudding? And that chocolate cherry is my favorite flavor combination? I was sure you had invented it just for me. No matter, I will love trying this. Thanks!

  • Courtney December 30, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Wow…this looks *amazing*. I love bread pudding, I will have to try this recipe next weekend!!

  • jennifer December 31, 2008 at 12:34 am

    looks delicious, happy new year!

  • Brenda December 31, 2008 at 10:33 am

    That bread pudding looks soooo good. I’m going to love following your blog. It has all my favorites: food, crafts, family, kids. It will be fun hearing about your business adventures.

  • Katherine January 6, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it for a NYE dinner party – it was delish!! Enjoyed by all.
    Happy New Year!

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