Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Bread Pudding
By Daisy Martinez
The Food Network
MAKES 12 GENEROUS SERVINGS
Bread puddings were always reserved for celebrations—not just in Puerto Rico, but all around the Caribbean. That was certainly the case when I was growing up and watching Abuela in the kitchen. (For extra-special occasions, we’d add a whole can of fruit cocktail to the mix!) This very simple recipe features a chocolate custard teamed up with two of chocolate’s longtime friends: cinnamon and cherries. Be sure to give the bread enough soaking time so the chocolaty custard penetrates all the way to the center of the bread cubes. (Break a bread cube open to check.)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 cups heavy cream
- 12 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- One 11½-ounce bag bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- One 10-inch loaf challah bread cut (crusts and all) into ¾-inch cubes (about 12 cups; see Notes)
- 1 cup dried cherries (about 5 ounces)
1. Using the butter, grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
2. Beat 2 cups of the cream with the eggs, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Heat the remaining 4 cups cream in a medium saucepan until the edges are bubbling. Remove from the heat, add the bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chips, let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cinnamon.
3. Slowly pour the chocolate cream into the cream-egg mixture, whisking continuously until the two are blended. Add the bread, turning gently to coat with the chocolate custard mix. Let stand until the bread has soaked up as much of the custard mixture as it will hold, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how stale the bread is.
4. While the bread is soaking, preheat the oven to 350°F.
5. Stir the cherries into the custard mix. Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges are set and the center jiggles a little when you wiggle the pan, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving warm, or let cool completely and serve at room temperature. The pudding is best eaten before it’s been refrigerated.
NOTES • Day-old bread is best for this. It will be easier to cut into cubes and, as an added bonus, will soak up more chocolaty custard the next day. • The bread pudding is best eaten warm or at room temperature without ever having seen the inside of a refrigerator. Refrigerated bread pudding just won’t have that same creamy-custardy texture, but leftovers will still be quite delicious. If you would like to warm them, do so gently, wrapped in aluminum foil on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven.
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