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This recipe took several tries to get the taste and texture just right. The result is a decadent, custardy delight that looks sophisticated, but is also homey and comforting. It’s very rich, so small servings are recommended.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8- or 10-cup baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place dried cherries in bowl, cover with 1/2 cup boiling water, and let stand
10 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving soaking liquid.
3. Spread half of bread cubes in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with cherries, then cover with remaining bread cubes.
4. Whisk together milk and cocoa powder in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate until melted.
5. Whisk together eggs, sugar, cinnamon (if using), and salt in medium bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup hot milk mixture to temper eggs, then whisk in remaining milk mixture and reserved cherry soaking liquid. Stir in vanilla. Pour liquid over bread, and gently press bread down to submerge in liquid. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing on bread and gently squeezing with hands occasionally.
6. Place baking dish in larger roasting pan, and add hot water to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F, and bake 40 to 45 minutes more, or until pudding is slightly puffed and custard is set. Remove from water bath, and spread preserves over top. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or cool.
- Calories 285
- Carbohydrate Content 40 g
- Cholesterol Content 70 mg
- Fat Content 13 g
- Fiber Content 4 g
- Protein Content 9 g
- Saturated Fat Content 7 g
- Sodium Content 199 mg
- Sugar Content 24 g