Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo Bread Pudding is festive

It’s time for mariachis, margaritas, and more! Today here in the Ocean State, folks will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo by chomping down on some great Mexican food at restaurants such as The Original Cactus Grille in Providence.

And here at home, “south of the Providence border,” we’ll whip up a bread pudding that’s full of golden raisins, Mexican chocolate, and rum. The bread is drying in the kitchen as we speak. This pudding serves 20, so it’s party time!

(recipe from the California Raisin Marketing Board)

8 cups dry bread, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup good-quality bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped into chip-size pieces
1 cup California golden raisins, soaked in 1/4 cup dark rum
4 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13x9x1 1/2-inch glass or nonreactive baking pan. Spread bread cubes in pan; sprinkle chocolate pieces and raisins evenly on top and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together. Pour over the bread mixture. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
Place pan containing pudding inside larger pan filled with hot water to halfway up the sides of the pudding pan. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes at 350°F or until sharp knife inserted in center of pudding comes out clean.
To serve, cut into 20 squares. Serve warm.
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