I might have mentioned a few times that I'm Jewish, but don't follow Kosher laws and mostly enjoy the cultural aspects of Judaism as opposed to religious ones. One such aspect is challah. I absolutely love challah bread and have baked it several times: plain, with cranberries and orange zest and with Nutella. I've also made Challah French Toast and baked challah casserole with apples.
This past Friday, I decided to buy a loaf of challah at an outside market right by Union Station. At $3/loaf, this was a great deal. Unfortunately, the challah tasted on the stale-ish side. What to do? Make challah bread pudding of course!
Like many of the recipes I invent and post on this blog, this one includes the ingredients I had on hand. I combined a few things together and crossed my fingers that I'll like the final result. This is as much of living on an edge as I can handle ;)
Holler for Challah Bread Pudding
1/8 cup real maple syrup
2 teaspoon vanilla (I used the one I made at home)
3/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 challah loaf cut into 1 inch cubes
1. Spray a 12 inch muffin tin with PAM.
2. In a bowl whisk together eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and half & half.
3. Fold in chocolate chips, cherries and challah cubes. I found that using my hands was the best technique for it.
4. Fill each muffin cup with the mixture. Again, using my hands was the easiest way to do this as I was able to make sure that each mini bread pudding had an even amount of chocolate chips and cherries.
5. Cover the muffin tin with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. [If you wanted to, you could also bake it right away...the flavors just would not have time to mingle together.]
6. Preheat the oven to 375F and bake the challah bread pudding for 30 minutes.
7. Serve warm out of the oven with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Note: I had a really hard time removing each mini challah bread pudding from the muffin tin. Perhaps it would have been better to use butter instead of PAM.
This is a great make ahead brunch/breakfast dish. It took about 10 minutes to put it together: I'm sure you have 10 minutes!
Of course you can change this recipe by omitting chocolate chips (but why would you?), switching up dried cherries for cranberries or raisins and adding other flavors such as citrus zest or almond extract.
After baking these mini challah bread puddings, my apartment smelled sweet for hours!