Cherry Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding
18 1/2-inch slices (1 pound loaf) Challah or other egg bread

1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation vaporated Milk
1/2 cup water
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 package (6 ounces) dried cherries (about 1 1/3 cups)
Chocolate Sauce
1 cup (6 ounces) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
2/3 cup (5 fluid-ounce can) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For Bread Pudding:
PREHEAT oven to 400° F. Grease six 6-ounce ramekins.
USE a 2 1/2-inch-round cookie cutter or glass to cut circles in bread slices (save remnants for another use). Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. COMBINE evaporated milk, water and sugar in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Gradually whisk warm milk mixture into eggs. Stir in rum and vanilla extract. PLACE prepared ramekins on baking sheet. Place one bread round in each ramekin. Top with level tablespoon of cherries. Repeat layers, then top each ramekin with a third bread round. Divide custard mixture among ramekins. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing down on bread occasionally. BAKE for 25 to 27 minutes or until tops are puffed and brown. (Puddings will rise over edge of ramekin but shrink slightly on cooling.) Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve with Chocolate Sauce.

For Chocolate Sauce:
COMBINE morsels and evaporated milk in small, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until morsels are melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract. Makes about 1 cup. Store any remaining sauce tightly covered in refrigerator.

Yield: 6 servings

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