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I got this idea from "The Spirited Vegetarian" but I added and changed alot of things so that it is not the same recipe. I use the "heels" of loaves of bread - just toss them in the freezer until you have about 6-8 for this recipe. I also HIGHLY recommend the Ghirardelli brand of chocolates for this recipe - the quality is well worth the extra $$. This makes a very rich but smaller dessert (8X8) so it is perfect for a smaller family or gathering. The cookbook also recommends pairing it with a sherry-flavored whipped cream but we like it better unadorned so that the sweet chocolate and the tart cherry flavors really shine!
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1⁄4 cup cognac or 1⁄4 cup hot water
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups stale bread, torn into small pieces
- 1⁄3 cup white chocolate chips
- 1⁄3 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1⁄2 cup toasted almond (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Lightly coat an 8X8 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Microwave 4 oz milk chocolate on medium power until melted - let cool.
- Combine the dried cherries and cognac or hot water and microwave for 1 minute or until plumped slightly. Let stand until room temperature.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light. Whisk in the cooled chocolate, half and half, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. Gently stir in remaining ingredients.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and let stand for 30 minutes (You may refrigerate for up to 2 hrs if needed but I have also baked right away before with great results!)
- Bake for 40 mins or until set in middle.