I don’t eat dessert’s very often for a variety of reasons! Usually they are too sweet for my palate, they aren’t very special (meaning you can get them in most restaurants) and they don’t work very well with most dessert wines. In general sugar is not my friend. For me it translates into a big, bad, very ugly migraine headache. So for that reason alone I usually steer clear.
This dessert was inspired by a dessert Charlie Trotter created for his restaurant. It is the one dessert that on rare occasions I think is worth-it-all! I have changed Charlie Trotter’s recipe in a few ways. For instance I use three styles of bread in my version so it isn’t quite so dense.
The main sweetness in this dessert comes from the cherries and the bittersweet chocolate. The melting, gooey, chocolate with the sweet dark bing cherries is really delicious.
Unlike most bread pudding recipes that use eggs, milk, and sugar as the liquid to hold the bread cubes together this bread pudding recipe is really different. It uses the Anglaise Sauce (still eggs, butter and sugar, but cooked into a sauce) as the binder to hold together the bread cubes in the pudding. It is what makes this dessert rich and creamy and moist!
<strong>Warm Chocolate & Cherry Bread Pudding with Anglaise Sauce
Anglaise Sauce Ingredients
3 egg yolks
5 1/2 tsp sugar
1.5 c heavy cream
In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Temper the yolk and sugar mixture with the hot cream while whipping constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not boil the sauce. If it boils the eggs will curdle and the sauce will be ruined. The sauce is done when it coats the back of a spoon. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and cool.
Bing Cherry Sauce Ingredients
1 cup Bing Cherry Juice, reserving 2 T juice to mix with Arrowroot or Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
2 – 4 T arrowroot or cornstarch
Place the juice’s in a saucepan and heat just until it starts to boil. Combine the 2 Tablespoons of reserved Cherry juice with 2 Tablespoons of the Arrowroot mixing well.
Stir the Arrowroot/Cherry juice mixture into the hot Cherry juice and whisk. Continue cooking over medium heat until the juice thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place in a squirt bottle when at room temperature if desired. This will be used to make the cherry juice garnish that I did in the photo above.
Bread Pudding Ingredients
1.5 c Anglaise Sauce
1.5 c heavy cream
1/3 c sugar
4 ozs italian, sourdough or french bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 ozs multi-grain bread, (i used a cranberry walnut bread from Whole Foods that was quite dense)
4 ozs seeded bread ( i used Whole Foods Seeded Seduction bread)
1.5 c bittersweet chocolate chips
3 cups Bing Cherries, pitted and cut in half
Place the Anglaise Sauce, cream, sugar and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the bread cubes and gently toss together. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight if possible or for at least 4 hours. Most of the liquid should be absorbed by the bread cubes.
Firmly pack the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish that is lined with parchment paper. When using this method you can cut the baked pudding into squares or rectangles for service. Or you can use a biscuit cutter to cut circles out of the baked pudding.
I used 4 inch ring molds and packed the bread mixture firmly into the molds. The molds were placed on parchment lined cookie sheet pans.
Two people could share a 4 inch round bread pudding. But at the dinner I served these at no one wanted to share and everyone ate every last drop of their dessert!
To Bake the Bread Pudding
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let sit for 5-8 minutes then run a knife around the edges of the pudding. Either cut into desired shapes if baking in a 9 x 13 pan, or remove from the ring molds if using that method for baking.
Either spoon some of the cherry juice sauce onto the plate or using a squirt bottle create a design. Place the baked puddings on top of the cherry juice.
Serve while still warm or at room temperature.