It's Food Matters Project Monday. The host for this weeks recipe is Margarita. Margarita chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Chocolate-Cherry Panini. We don't have a lot of sweets around the house so when I told Ron that this week we were making a dessert recipe he was quite pleased. Mark's panini recipe got me thinking about bread pudding. I went searching for a healthy version of bread pudding and found one from Eating Well Magazine. They did a great job of cutting down the calories by using some egg whites instead of whole eggs and skim milk instead of cream. The recipe even called for whole grain bread!
The Farmer's Market had beautiful, fresh, plump cherries this week. I couldn't decide between the Bing or the Rainier, they both were so luscious and sweet. I ended up buying both. I had a loaf of whole wheat bread "aging" at home, but I couldn't help myself when I saw fresh loaves of Sicilian Bread at the Farmer's market.
Durum Pane Siciliano. Bread made with fine durum semolina flour and shaped in the form of a pair of eyeglasses in homage to Santa Lucia, the patron saint of vision. I love this bread. It is made with whole wheat flour but it is light and airy, perfect for my pudding.
Thanks Margarita for the inspiration! You can find the original recipe from Mark Bittman's cookbook on Margarita's blog here. For other really creative takes on his recipe click here.
Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Bread Pudding
8 servings | Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 1 3/4 hours
- 4 large egg whites
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Bread & filling
- 4 cups whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1/2 pound, 4-6 slices)
- 2 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, preferably mini
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted (see Tip)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted, or Streusel Topping (see Tip)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 11-by-7-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
- To prepare custard: Whisk egg whites, eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon: whisk to combine.
- Toss bread, cherries, chocolate chips and 1/4 cup almonds in a large bowl. Add the custard and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.
- Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with 1/4 cup almonds (or Streusel Topping) and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the pudding through Step 3; refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as directed in Step 4.
- Tips: Toast sliced almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
- To make streusel topping: Combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup oats (preferably old-fashioned), 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on top of the pudding after the initial 40 to 45 minutes of baking
Optional- dust with powdered sugar
Recipe from Eating Well Magazine