Chocolate Bread Pudding Stacks with Fresh Cherry Sauce
This makes a great dessert for a picnic, served at room temperature. It's also great with a side of ice cream, sweetened whipped cream or berry sorbet.
Planning Ahead • Prepare the bread pudding the day before.
• Prepare the bread pudding the day before.
11/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy whipping en
1 cup shaved or chopped chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups 1-inch bread cub panettone, French, or country bread), crusts
1 pound fresh cherries, pitted or 2 cups dried cherries, soaked in hot water to reconstitute
Pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
Shaved chocolate, for garnish
Additional cherries, for garnish
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
To make the bread pudding, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the half-and-half and cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Place the chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot cream over it, stirring until the chocolate is smooth and blended. Beat the eggs and sugar together, add the vanilla, and slowly stir into the chocolate. Blend well. Toss the bread cubes in the chocolate until well coated. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pudding is set and slightly puffed. Remove from the oven and cool. Cut into 9 3-inch rounds. Cut the rounds in half horizontally. Set aside.
To make the cherry sauce, place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, decrease to a simmer, and cook gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool sauce and refrigerate until needed.
Spray 6 stack cylinders with vegetable spray and place them on a sheet pan. Layer in the following order: 1 chocolate bread pudding round, 2 tablespoons slightly drained cherries, 1 tablespoon toasted hazelnuts, I chocolate bread pudding round (press down gently but firmly), 2 tablespoons slightly drained cherries, 1 tablespoon toasted hazelnuts. Top with the third bread pudding round. Press down gently. Chill until serving.
To serve cold, slide a spatula under each stack cylinder and transfer to a serving plate. Unmold and garnish with shaved chocolate, additional cherry sauce and cherries, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
To serve warm, bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes, place on plates, unmold, and garnish.