Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chocolate-cherry bread pudding is for Valentine's Day

Who couldn’t help notice, starting right after the Christmas holidays, the profusion of red stuff peeking out from shelves in supermarkets, pharmacies, and book stores? We’d hardly had time to put the decorations away when we were bombarded with another reason to celebrate.

But now we’re getting in the mood for Valentine’s Day, which will be here before we know it. For me, the best part of that day is that it’s one more opportunity to feast on chocolate. (Not that we need a reason…) Chocolate kisses wrapped in red foil, assorted chocolates in a big red heart box, and those chocolate covered cherries doused in a lovely liqueur. Just for starters.

So when I spotted this recipe recently, it had Valentine’s Day written all over it. This bread pudding is made from rich croissants, and the custard is studded with chocolate chips and cherries – who could resist this special sweet? It’s from a wonderful cookbook by the name of Upper Crusts - Capital Lifestyles by Sheilah Kaufman, culinary instructor and author of 25 cookbooks. Subtitled: Fabulous Ways to Use Bread. So of course she had to include bread pudding!

In the next few posts, in addition to some other great puddings, we hope to bombard you with recipes for luscious bread puddings to serve for Valentine’s Day. And they just might include chocolate. Here’s to sweet romance!!


1 teaspoon butter

3 stale croissants
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Cassis or vanilla extract

Generously butter a 9x9-inch baking dish.
Cut croissants into 1/2-inch pieces (as best you can) and scatter cubes, chips and cherries into prepared dish.In large bowl, whisk together sugar, cream, eggs and Cassis until sugar dissolves. Pour sugar/cream mixture through sieve into prepared baking dish. Gently push down cubes so that they absorb egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.*
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake for 30 minutes or until center is puffy and golden. Serve hot.
* If in a rush, skip chilling. Instead pour only half the egg mixture in, push down to absorb; wait 5 minutes before pouring on some more but not all, leaving tops of cubes just above the liquid line. Serves 6.
Approximate nutrients per serving: calories, 395; protein 6 g; carbohydrates, 36 g; fat, 26 g; cholesterol, 144 mg; sodium; 188 mg.
(From Upper Crusts - Capital Lifestyles by Sheilah Kaufman, © 2007)

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