Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Brandied Cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat eight 6-ounce custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Place cups in large roasting pan; set aside. In small bowl combine dried cherries and brandy or juice; set aside.
In medium saucepan combine half-and-half and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through and sugar is dissolved.
In mixing bowl whisk together eggs and egg yolks. Slowly add half-and-half mixture to beaten egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla. Stir in bread cubes. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Stir in the dried cherry-brandy mixture and divide mixture among custard cups. Evenly distribute chopped chocolate.
Place roasting pan on oven rack. Pour boiling water into pan to reach halfway up sides of custard cups. Bake 30 minutes, until knife inserted near pudding centers comes out clean. Remove cups from the water. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.