Pastry chef Jenny McCoy (SNL ’07), honored as one of DePaul’s 14 Alumni Under 40 for 2014, recommends making bread pudding as a special treat when the weather turns colder. “I love bread puddings for the fall and winter,” she says. “You can just use leftover bread, you can’t mess them up and everyone loves them.” McCoy, the author of “Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season,” kindly agreed to share her recipe for chocolate-dried cherry bread pudding with DePaul’s alumni and friends.
Chocolate-Dried Cherry Bread Pudding
Rich, creamy and slightly bound by bread, this dessert when served warm is perfect for a cold winter night. You may wonder how the soupy base will ever hold together, but once baked the pudding softly sets. Serve with a dessert spoon instead of a fork. Makes 8 servings.
2/3 cup (about 4 ounces) dark chocolate chips
5 large eggs
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons brandy
Finely grated zest of ¼ orange
Seeds of ½ vanilla bean
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 slices soft white bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup (about 3 ounces) milk chocolate chips
½ cup dried cherries
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Put the dark chocolate chips in a bowl. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until well combined.
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, milk, brandy, orange zest, vanilla, salt and granulated sugar to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the dark chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth. Pour the dark chocolate mixture over the egg mixture, whisking constantly, and whisk until combined. Add the bread and gently stir to coat. Transfer the bread pudding mixture to the refrigerator to cool to room temperature. Stir in the milk chocolate chips and dried cherries. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place eight 4-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet and lightly coat the ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.
Stir the bread pudding mixture to evenly distribute the chocolate chips and cherries. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake until puffed and set, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from Rizzoli New York. © Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season by Jenny McCoy, Rizzoli New York, 2013. Images © Pernille Penderson
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