Most bread pudding recipes are chock-full of cream, milk, and butter. But this chocolate- and cherry-studded challah bread pudding is totally dairy-free -- not to mention lighter -- thanks to pareve ingredient substitutions including soymilk and a touch of coconut oil.
Served as a dessert, it's especially nice topped with pareve ice cream or pareve whipped cream. And since it's lower in sugar than most bread puddings, leftovers make a delicious breakfast or brunch treat, drizzled with pure maple syrup.
Make It A Meal: Who says you can't work backward from dessert to figure out what to make for dinner? Take a cue from bread pudding's creative comfort food status, and opt for a roasted chicken with baharat, garlic, and mint. Serve the bird alongside green beans with pecans and date syrup. Then offer the bread pudding with coffee, espresso, or tea.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or non-hydrogenated pareve margarine, such as Earth Balance, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus extra for greasing pan)
- 1 pound challah (cut into 1-inch cubes; about 8 cups)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups pareve vanilla soymilk
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cherries (dried; preferably tart)
- 1/2 cup pareve bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
- Optional: pareve ice cream, whipped cream, or maple syrup (for serving)
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.
Grease a 9 x 13" baking dish with a bit of coconut oil or margarine.
Place the challah cubes in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, soymilk, Amaretto, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk in the melted coconut oil or margarine.
Pour the custard mixture over the challah cubes and stir gently until all of the challah is saturated with the egg mixture.
Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
Pour the challah mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven until puffed and golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes to 1 hour, 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve warm, topped with pareve ice cream, pareve whipped cream, or a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired. Leftovers may be stored, covered in the refrigerator, for 2 to 3 days.