The second-place finisher in our Berry Cherry Challenge was a fantastically delicious dessert and tart cherry recipe!

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Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding

Second Place winner – Margee Berry of White Salmon, Washington, delighted us with this marvelous bread pudding dessert. Contest judge, Kathy, said, “I am usually not a fan of bread pudding, but this recipe brought together interesting ingredients in a perfect way. It was absolutely delicious and was not difficult to make.”

Kathy is absolutely right.  I made this tart cherry recipe for the judging panel and again a few days later for a dinner party.  Cheers from everyone!!

The croissants are such a light touch to this pudding allowing the cherry and chocolate flavors to come through.  We are so happy to be able to share it with our readers.

Congratulations Margee!

CHOCOLATE CHERRY CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING WITH SPARKLING SABAYON SAUCE

Ingredients:

Croissant Bread Pudding:

2        large croissants (about 6 ounces each) cut into ½ inch cubes

4        ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, at least 65% cacao

1/ 2       cup FruitFast Montmorency dried cherries

2        cups half & half

1/ 2       vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2        large eggs

1/ 2       cup sugar

2        Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pats

Sparkling Sabayon Sauce

1/ 2        cup heavy cream

3         large egg yolks

1/ 4        cup sugar

1/3         sparkling wine (non-alcoholic can be used)

3        Tbsp FruitFast tart cherry juice concentrate

Directions:

For croissant bread Pudding:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread croissant cubes onto a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

2.  Divide chopped chocolate and dried cherries into the bottom of six ¾ cup greased ramekins or custard cups.  Place equal amounts of croissant cubes on next.

3.  Place half & half in medium saucepan then scrape vanilla bean seeds into saucepan; add the bean. Whisk over medium heat until half & half starts to simmer.  Remove the bean.  In a small bowl whisk together eggs and sugar, slowly add ½ cup of half & half to the bowl, return to saucepan and whisk for 1 minute over medium-low.  Pour equal amounts of mixture over croissant cubes.  Dot the tops with the butter pats.  Place ramekins in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.  Add enough hot water to the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of ramekins.

4.  Bake bread puddings until set about 40 minutes.  Remove ramekins from baking dish onto wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Run a knife around ramekin edges, then un-mold onto dessert plates and top with the sabayon sauce.  Serves 6

For Sparkling Sabayon Sauce:

1.  While bread pudding is baking make sauce by beating the cream in a medium bowl. With mixer until stiff peaks form then refrigerate to keep cold.

2.  Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium metal bowl; add the wine and cherry concentrate, set bowl over saucepan with simmer water; whisk constantly until mixture is thick about 6 minutes.  Place the bowl over a large bowl filled halfway with ice and cold water.  Continue whisking mixture in the metal bowl until cooled about 6 minutes more then fold in the whipped cream.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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