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Chocolate Challah Bread Pudding with Rum and Dried Cherries

Do you love brunch? Do you love bread? Do you love chocolate? If you answered "yes" to all three questions, you must continue reading! How did this Chocolate Challah Bread Pudding with Rum and Dried Cherries come about? Well...

1) Foodbuzz sent me two types of chocolate bars to try: it's dark, so I knew I'd like it. One of the bars had almonds and cherries in it.

2) While in New York City, I met up with Gina for Dim Sum and she gave me Daisy's Holiday Cooking cookbook as an early birthday gift! (Thanks, Gina)

3) I decided to get a few of my friends together for brunch at my place while Anna was visiting me and figured I might as well try a new recipe...from a cookbook...I know, shocking! While paging through Daisy's Holiday Cooking, a recipe for Cherry Cordial Bread Pudding stood out above all. I had to make it.

The original recipe called for six cups of heavy cream: I decided to use 3 cups of half & half and 3 cups of 2% milk. Another change I made was in the chocolate I used: I used 6 ounces of chocolate I received from Foodbuzz and 7 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips. Other than that, and baking half of the recipe as individual portions, I pretty much followed Daisy's recipe. {oops, as I was typing up the recipe below, I realized I used way more chocolate than Daisy did in her recipe...but this is a good oops}

Chocolate Challah Bread Pudding with Rum and Dried Cherries 
Printable Recipe

3 cups half & half
3 cups 2% milk
12 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons rum (I used Puerto Rican rum)
13 ounces chocolate (I used a combination of dark and semi sweet)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium sized challahs, cut into large chunks (use a day old bread)
1 cup dried cherries (if I were to make the recipe again, I'd definitely add more cherries)
PAM spray

1. Whisk two cups of milk with all eggs, sugar and rum.
2. Heat the rest of the milk in a pan until you see bubbles. Remove the pan from the heat, add chocolate, let it sit for a minute, and then using a spatula stir the mixture around. Add cinnamon.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the egg/sugar/rum mixture with the "chocolate" mixture.
4. Combine challah with dried cherries and pour the egg/milk/rum/chocolate/cinnamon mixture over it. Let it soak for at least 45 minutes. 

{below is a birthday present from my parents: 5.5 quart Le Creuset!!! I asked for it and got it :) It's a great addition to my two mini Le Creusets} {And no brunch is without flowers!}

5. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat your containers with PAM. Equally divide the soaked challah cubes, cherries and the liquid and bake for about 45 minutes.

6. Let the bread pudding stand for about 20 minutes before digging in BUT make sure to let everyone see it right away as it puffs up almost like a souffle and looks rather impressive if I say so myself. Unfortunately, just like a souffle, this bread pudding "falls" as it sits.

And I just had to give some love to my friend Jenna for bringing over an updated version of a strawberry shortcake. Jenna's had strawberries, kiwis and basil marinated in white wine. Delicious! And she whipped up some cream by hand.


lisa is cooking said...

Chocolate, cherries, challah, yes, please! Sounds fantastic for brunch.

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

This looks terrific. I like how you substituted the 2% milk and half and half for the heavy cream.

Delicious Dishings said...

That bark is really delicious! You were so creative with it!

Erin said...

Cherries, chocolate, challah are three of my favorite things! Looks delicious!

Jennifer said...

I love chocolate and cherries. I love challah. I've never thought of using it in bread pudding though. And now I think I'm gonna have to try it.

Cara said...

Sounds like the perfect way to use up the challah in my freezer before Pesach!

sally said...

Beautiful bread pudding and beautiful new pots! I have to say, I'm a little jealous of your three new Le Creusets. :)

Unknown said...

I'm so happy you are enjoying the cookbook!!! Love the color of your new pot!

The Duo Dishes said...

That mini Le Creuset is so cute. But yes, too many for a monster bread pudding. That dark chocolate would be good enough to eat on its own, but why not toss it into this lovely dessert (or breakfast?).

nicole said...

love the color of the le creu. i like that you put the small one next to it for the size comparison :)

I haven't used my 4 mini ones yet, but I'd really like a dutch oven! i was making soup the other night in a deep sauce pan and could barely stir the pot!