Monday, June 18, 2012

CHOCOLATE, CHERRY AND ALMOND BREAD PUDDING



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.


Cherries, chocolate, almonds, and bread are mixed together with a light custard. This lighter version of a normally high calorie dessert was fantastic.

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

Ingredients

Custard
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
Seasonings
  • 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)
Topping
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted, or Streusel Topping (see Tip)
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 11-by-7-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare custard: Whisk egg whites, eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon: whisk to combine.
  3. 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.
  4. 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




14 comments:

Margarita said...

love what you did here lexi! bread puddings are great... especially if they have chocolate and cherries... and especially of they don't require a ton of cream! i used Bings and Rainiers too, it really is tough deciding between the two. better to get a little bit of each.

Sarah from 20something cupcakes said...

Wow! Love, love, love this idea.

Lexi said...

Thanks Margarita! I was surprised how good this was.

Lexi said...

Thanks Sarah!

Alyssa @ Everyday Maven said...

I love this idea Lexi!

Lexi said...

Thanks Alyssa!

Angry Asian said...

bread pudding! genius. i am intrigued by the use of just egg whites instead of the entire egg... did the end product come out rich-tasting at all?

Lexi said...

Hi Lan, It was not as rich tasting as my old recipe with 8eggs, 3 cups cream and 2 cups sugar, but it was still very good and not at all dry.

Erin said...

Ooooooh looks so yummy!!!

sandra said...

Bread pudding is something I've been wanting to make. I've got to try it.

Lexi said...

Thanks Erin!

Lexi said...

Hi Sandra, I don't make it very often because it is so high in calories but this healthy recipe was really good.

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits said...

OH my gosh...this sounds so delicious!

Lexi said...

Thanks Mireya..it was great!