This Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding is so homey, filled with flavor from dried cherries, maple syrup, whisky, and warm baking spices. Top it with a silky Maple Whisky Sauce, and you have an elegant, yet comforting, dessert to serve your guests!Adapted from Outlander Kitchen Cookbook Jem’s Bread Pudding with Maple Butterscotch Sauce, p286 (but lots of other sources as well)
Make the bread pudding: In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, dried cherries, chocolate chips, and ½ cup of the pecans. Add the melted butter and toss to coat evenly.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add brown sugar, maple syrup, whisky, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and whisk until combined. Whisk in milk and cream. Pour into bread mixture and mix well. Let sit at least 30 minutes for custard to soak into the bread cubes.
Pour bread mixture into the buttered baking dish and top with remaining pecans. Bake 40 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and custard is almost set (it will finish setting as it cools). Remove from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes.
Make the maple whisky sauce: While the bread pudding is baking, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and stir until smooth.
Bring to boil and cook 5 minutes. Stir in whisky (mixture will sizzle) and cook about 30 seconds, then stir in warmed cream and salt. Bring back to boil and cook and stir 1 minute, then remove from heat and let cool.
To serve, reheat bread pudding at 325°F until warm (if needed). Drizzle the sauce on, then plate and serve with additional sauce on the side. Enjoy!
I liked the addition of nutmeg and cloves, but you can leave it out if you want. Also, I used 1% milk, but any type will do.The whisky may be optional in the custard and sauce, but I used it (do you really think I wouldn't?). If you do choose to follow my lead, make sure whatever whisky you use in the sauce is good quality and something you’d like to drink. You can alter the mix-ins. I used dried cherries and chocolate chips, but you can use raisins, fresh or dried apples, apricots or any other fruit you’d like. Vary the nuts (how about almonds or walnuts?) or leave them out, use toffee or butterscotch chips for the chocolate or leave that out, too. It’s totally customizable and up to you!The Whisky Sauce will separate upon standing, so just reheat it gently, either in a water bath (place the jar in a pot of simmering water) or in short bursts in the microwave on a low power setting, then stir.Bread Pudding can be frozen after baking (make sure the baking dish is freezer safe). Cool completely, then wrap well with a double layer of plastic wrap, then a double layer of foil, and freeze. Defrost in refrigerator overnight, then warm in oven before serving. Frozen bread pudding will keep 2 to 3 months.