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 backwards 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 and a beautifully hued Forbidden Rice Salad with Apricots and Hazelnuts. Then offer the bread pudding with coffee, espresso, or tea.
- For the Bread Pudding:
- 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.