Make Ahead

Chocolate, Cranberry, and Creamy Custard Bread Pudding ( in Honor of Amanda HesserĀ )

November  9, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

Last Sat night a group of Food 52'rs here in No. Calif came together to honor Amanda Hesser who was out here for her best selling new cookbook booksigning .The group of Food 52'rs put together a potluck based on recipes from Amanda's new cookbook which spans the era's. I was relegated to 1950's egg & olive canapes but was unable to find old standby Pepperidge Farm thin bread, thus needed to settle for a Whole Foods special order which saddly was mushroom shaped thus causing lots of bread waste. But no worries, since it gave way to my creating this Thanksgiving dessert alternative along with -Dried Cranberries , Belgium Chocolate & Custard. So Amanda in honor of having met you (and having held the very canape bread in your hands). Here's to you - Chocolate & Cranberry Creamy Custard Bread Pudding ! —micki barzilay

What You'll Need
  • 10 cups thin white tea bread broken into bite size pieces
  • 5 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups sweet dried cranberries
  • 3 bars of Trader Joe's Belgium Milk Chocolate Bars ( or similar) broken into pieces
  • 1/2 standard cube of butter
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 -Tear or cut bread into small ( app 1 in cubes) and place in (app) 4 quart casserole oven -safe baking dish. In a saucepan heat milk on low heat. Break eggs into a bowl mixing till frothy. Add beaten egg to lukewarm milk and continue to stir till it begins to thicken to a custard consistancy. Pour custard mixture over the bread being sure to fully soak the bread ( you can gently press down bread with a fork so milk custard rises above the bread) . Evenly add in the dried sweet cranberries & broken pieces of chocolate ( saving a small handful to garnish with). Place on middle rack of oven and cook for 15 minutes then add uniformly remaining cranberry ,chocolate pieces, & butter and put back into the oven for another 15 min or so until custard and bread have united and is fully cooked, cranberries have plumped, chocolate and butter have melted . The perfect consistancy is when custard is cooked but still soft and fuses with the bread so once cooled and cut holds a perfect shape. You don't want runny nor hard...Here's to you Amanda- Congratulations you now also have a recipe in your honor ! And to everyone else Happy Thanksgiving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • micki barzilay
    micki barzilay
  • monkeymom
  • Daphne
  • drbabs

10 Reviews

micki B. November 11, 2010
The Roman Punch was amazing...I don't normally even drink wine let alone the hard stuff but the merengue was too luring to pass by & then I have to admit it took no wonder it was called Roman PUNCH !
monkeymom November 10, 2010
I, too, very much enjoyed the canapes! I am on the lookout for stars in my neighborhood now too :)
micki B. November 11, 2010
Thank you ...this dessert recipe is what I did with all the bread ends from the canape.It was a bummer that the bread was mushroom shaped so I had to cut the cap off to square/triangle the pieces...lots of bread wast ...but the bread pudding turned out really yummy and Louis ( my partner & neighbors can't stop eating it)...not too good on the wasteline! I am bringing some to the baker at Whole Foods tommorrow who sold me the bread. Thanks for the your dish also it was amazing. I'll let the guys know you're looking out for them...and to catch you at the supemarket produce dept!
Daphne November 10, 2010
Micki, I had more than 4 of your egg and olive canapes Sat. They were fabulous and nice to meet you!
micki B. November 10, 2010
Thank you for your awesome hospitality... and for eating 4 of the 46 canapes ( I made way too many)! - I love your style, colors, textures, table settings, flowers, the house, and your darling family ! What a great sport your husband was...and your daughters -just delightful - and oh yeh the pecan ice cream-big hit....which dish did you make?
Daphne November 10, 2010
I made the Roman Punch. Look on Amanda's post of the punch on this site under comments and it tells about ours. It was my first time making punch, fun mixing everything together and made it so much easier having it all done rather than mixing individual cocktails for a group of 22 after people arrived...
drbabs November 9, 2010
How sweet--I bet y'all had a great time!
micki B. November 9, 2010
Thank you - It was really cool.
joeq2k November 9, 2010
Micki gifted me with some of this dish today. It was delicious, healthy and not too sweet. mmmm....
micki B. November 9, 2010
Thanks Joe Bear for you kind comments...I'll save another piece for you.