This version of bread pudding combines fresh red fruit with caramel sauce, matching the season in color as well as taste. The combination is a nice way to use fruit for a warm dessert for cooler days, hinting at the hues of autumn leaves.
And let's be practical: It's a great way to use up your day-old bread (or even leftover breakfast pastries).
So go ahead, slather on the whipped cream and, if you really want to indulge, substitute the homemade chocolate rum sauce for the caramel.
Strawberry Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups (about 8 ounces) stale egg or white bread cubes (1 inch)
2 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) coarsely chopped stemmed strawberries
2 cups half-and-half
4 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup prepared caramel or butterscotch sauce, warmed (or alternative chocolate sauce, recipe follows)
Sweetened whipped cream (optional, see note)
Whole strawberries (optional)
Heat oven to 375 F. Lightly coat 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
In large bowl, combine bread and strawberries, tossing to combine. Arrange in baking pan; set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together half-and-half, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until well-blended; pour over bread mixture. Let stand 10 minutes, pushing bread down into egg mixture occasionally. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Serve warm with caramel sauce; garnish with whipped cream and whole strawberries, if desired.
Makes 9 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 287 cal., 10 g fat, 127 mg chol., 272 mg sodium, 43 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 7 g pro.
Note: To make 2 cups sweetened whipped cream, in mixer bowl beat together 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (if desired), until soft peaks form.
This chocolate sauce can be served with the pudding in place of caramel sauce.
Chocolate Rum Sauce
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 table spoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons rum
In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, cook and stir morsels, cream and syrup until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipes from California Strawberry Commission.
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