Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
What's not to like, especially if you're a chocoholic who loves those tart little red berries AND bread pudding! Although the original of this recipe was found in the Pillsbury Holiday Baking 2008 cookbook, it has been considerably tweaked ! For the optional dark chocolate, I use half of a Hershey's Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate bar, chopped.
FOR THE BREAD PUDDING
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1⁄4 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1 lb whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or torn apart)
- 2 cups dried cranberries
- 3 1⁄2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1 -2 tablespoon orange zest, minced (optional)
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup vanilla baking chips
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- FOR THE BREAD PUDDING: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, then coat the inside of a 13"x9" glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, cocoa & half-and-half until well blended.
- Add the bread pieces & stir gently with a large spoon to coat bread with the liquid. Let this bread mixture set for 10 minutes.
- Add cranberries (along with the dark chocolate & orange zest, if using) & stir once again before pouring the entire mixture into the prepared baking dish, making sure that the cranberries are well-distributed.
- Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- FOR THE SAUCE: In a 1-quart saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar, butter, baking chips & whipping cream, then cook over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened & smooth.
- Remove from heat & stir in the vanilla. Sauce will be thin.
- Serve sauce over warm bread pudding.