This recipe is based more on English or Irish bread puddings that use crumbs instead of chunks like the American version. The bread crumbs were made from home made white loaf slices and were staled over night. The exterior of the bread was dry but the interior was still soft. The cherries are macerated in red wine and served chilled or room temperature as opposed to hot and flaming like traditional dessert served table side. As with all fruit the quality of the cherries makes all the difference in the world. For a couple of minor variations, almonds grated with a microplane over the top or grated chocolate or both would be good. The bread pudding when it comes out of the oven will be crunchy on top but don't worry when it soaks up the sauce it gets gooey and good. Make sure to butter the ramekins heavily or the cakes can stick. Everything can be made in advance, probably best done the morning you plan to serve them, and assembled just before serving. —thirschfeld
For the bread pudding:
1 1/4 cups
fresh bread crumbs
large eggs, seperated
1 1/2 teaspoons
orange zest, using a microplane
dark brown sugar
orange bitters, I used Fee Bro. West Indian Orange Bitters
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter six, 6 ounce, ramekins. In a mixing bowl using a paddle attachment cream the egg yolks, both sugars and the orange zest until fluffy. Add the orange bitters and mix until combined. In another mixing bowl using an electric mixer beat the egg whites until stiff. Add 1/4 cup of the whites to the sugar mixture and stir to loosen the batter. Now, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites until you see no more streaks of white. Fold in the bread crumbs until evenly distributed. Fill each ramekin about half way and if there is any batter left over divide it equally among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the puddings completely on a wire rack before removing them from the ramekins.
For the cherries:
Place the chopped cherries, sugar and Kirschwasser into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook just long enough to burn off the alcohol and dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and cool. Once it is cool puree the mixture in a food processor. Place the mixture in a mixing bowl and add the wine and whole cherries, stir and let the mixture macerate for at least an hour.
Whip the heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Once it starts to fluff add the powdered sugar. Whip until the cream holds a stiff peak and then add the vanilla and mix until well blended.
To finish the dessert place a ladle full of the sauce on a plate or bowl. Remove a pudding from a ramekin and place it on top of the sauce. Cut the whole cherries in half and place six half cherries around the top edge of each pudding and then pipe the whipped cream in the middle of the cherries with a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.