Raise your hand if you still have a few extra dinner rolls and some bright and tart cranberry sauce from the Big Day? Then you have most certainly come to the right place. I love homemade cranberry sauce, and eat it with gusto on Turkey day, BUT, somehow I always end up with a hefty Tupperware container of extra sauce and there are so many delicious ways you can use it. One doozy of a way to elevate this already bangin’ sauce and to finally use up those going stale dinner rolls is to make a dark chocolate and cranberry sauced bread pudding. There is nothing left-over feeling about this boozy and blinged out dessert and nothing will be going to waste in your kitchen.
This Cranberry Sauced Bread pudding is a little drunken just as the name implies as it has a touch of brandy. It also happens to be made up of a bevy of extra dinner rolls from Thanksgiving so it’s a great way to use up some of your extras from the big meal. It’s creamy, tangy, bursting with bright cranberry goodness and gets kissed with dark and white chocolate for that ooh la la factor. I always like a little ooh la la in my desserts and if brandy and chocolate doesn’t bling it out, then what does my friends? Not to mention it would look so pretty at a holiday buffet or dinner party.
Bread pudding is the saving grace of leftover breads of any sort, from bargain hamburger buns or stale bagels to beautiful day old Challah that is getting a little dry and hard. If you haven’t made bread pudding before, you may be under the utterly false assumption that it is difficult to make and MUST be loaded in fat grams and ridiculous amounts of calories. It appears to be a glutton’s paradise, however there are ways to lighten it up(which I have!) and bread pudding may be the easiest, most forgiving and comforting dessert out there so what’s the hold up? Everything in moderation folks.
If you don’t have any cranberry sauce lying around, just buy some good quality cranberry sauce (not the jellied kind for this recipe) or whip it up in no time flat. Another option is to simply use a cup of fresh cranberries for a different twist on this festive dessert. I hope you get a chance to try this new spin on an old favorite and let me know if it makes it to your list of “ooh la la” desserts.
Cranberry Sauced Bread Pudding
An S&C Original Recipe, adapted from no where- Scout’s honor.
Makes one large casserole dish and serves about 10-12 guests.
8 cups of various one-inch day-old cubed bread, (can be rolls, buns, Hawaiian rolls, even bagels)
3 T. melted butter
1 1/2 c. low-fat milk
1 12 oz can evaporated skim milk (2%, not non-fat)
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 T. brandy
3/4 t. almond extract (or vanilla would be fine too)
1 c. cranberry sauce or fresh cranberries (recipe for my homemade version can be found here)
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips (or just use what you have if you only have semisweet)
optional: 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, 2 T. Turbinado sugar (coarse sugar), side of brandy for serving and freshly whipped cream to top it.
To make the bread pudding: Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut your bread into one inch cubes. Place them on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with melted butter. Toss and brush other side of the bread cubes. Cook for 10 minutes until a bit dry and toasty. Take them out to cool.
While the bread cubes are in the oven, in a large mixing bowl beat together the milks and sugar with a wire whisk. Then add the eggs, one at a time and beat after each egg. Stir in the almond extract and brandy. After the bread has sufficiently cooled (about 15 minutes), put half of the bread cubes in the milk mixture and stir ever so gently. Add the rest and repeat. GENTLY stir in one cup of cranberry sauce and the chocolate chips. Over stirring will cause your bread mixture to turn pink. That might be lovely, but I prefer mine with swirls of cranberry sauce. Save a few spoonfuls of the cranberry sauce to dollop on later.
Spray a 9×13 glass Pyrex glass dish or 5 quart casserole dish with cooking spray; make sure to get the sides as well. Put the bread pudding mixture in the casserole dish and sprinkle with optional almonds and Turbinado sugar. Dollop a few spoonfuls of the cranberry sauce over the top in various locations to really make the sauce “pop” and helps the bread pudding to look even prettier. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and bake another 20-30 minutes uncovered or until custard mixture firms up and top gets a little bit golden and toasty.
Let cool slightly and set for about 15 minutes. Serve warm alongside a little shot of brandy for pouring over the bread pudding if desired. Freshly whipped cream wouldn’t hurt either. 😉