Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding

Long story short, I have a biase against any meal that includes recooking bread in any way except toast. Bread pudding was an especially repulsive concept to me as I assumed that it would be soft and slimy much like the scum produced on the surface of hot milk. DOUBLE YUCK! But I was recently fervently encouraged to taste Bread Pudding.

I knew that I would absolutely HATE it. Sigh. I literally took as small a serving as I could and added a touch of Creme Anglais. I figured that I could comfortably consume this small serving before my gage reflex kicked in.

I returned to my table and figured what the hell lets get it finished. I scooped up some of the pudding with the Creme Anglais and popped it into my mouth. I was immediately sorry that I hadn’t taken more. It really was GREAT! It had a nice texture and was deliciously rich without being overly sweet. It was gone way too quickly.

I was hooked. I sent my appreciation and compliments to the Chef and decided that I would try to recreate this dessert when I returned home. I looked through recipe after recipe and came up with one of my own and took it to work for a bake sale fundraiser and it sold out and I also gave some to one of my taste testers, The Accidental Natural, and she loved it too. So, if you have the chance to visit Queen’s Landing ask for Chef Carol’s White Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, you won’t be dissappointed.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cherries (this is a version of my recipe which was sourced from Epicurious.com et al)

For bread pudding

  • about 1/2 pound brioche or challah
  • 5 ounces fine-quality white chocolate
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For poached cherries

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • Accompaniment: whipped cream, Creme Anglais or Vanilla Icecream

Make pudding:
Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Cut enough bread into 3/4-inch cubes to measure 6 cups. Chop chocolate.

In a small heavy saucepan bring 1 cup cream just to a boil and add chocolate. Remove pan from heat and let mixture stand, covered, undisturbed. In another small heavy saucepan bring milk and remaining cup cream to a gentle simmer. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together whole eggs, yolks, sugar, and a pinch salt on medium speed 5 minutes. With mixer running, add milk mixture in a slow stream, beating until combined well. Whisk chocolate mixture until smooth and add with vanilla to egg mixture. Beat mixture until combined well.

Arrange bread cubes in baking dish. Pour cream mixture over bread and with a spoon push bread down into mixture to coat evenly. Chill pudding, covered, 1 1/2 hours (I don’t think that this is necessary).

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake pudding in middle of oven 45 to 60 minutes, or until set and springy to the touch. Transfer pudding to a rack and cool 30 minutes before serving.

Poach cherries while pudding is baking:
In a saucepan bring wine, water, and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cherries and remove pan from heat. Let mixture stand, covered, 1 hour. Drain cherries in a sieve and discard liquid.

Serve pudding with cherries and whipped cream, Creme Anglais or Vanilla Icecream.