"Dread" Pudding with Cherry "Blood" Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
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Ingredients

"Dread" Pudding:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

One 12-count package Hawaiian sweet rolls, cut into 1-inch cubes 

2 cups heavy cream 

2 cups almond milk 

1/2 cup sugar 

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

3 large eggs plus 2 yolks 

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips 

1 cup chopped thawed frozen Bing cherries

Cherry "Blood" Sauce:

3 cups thawed frozen Bing cherries with juice

1/2 cup brandy 

2 tablespoons honey 

Pinch kosher salt 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Shortbread "Tombstones:"

10 rectangular shortbread cookies

1/2 cup white chocolate chips or candy melting wafers

Edible icing letter decorations, for garnish

Edible black food coloring mist spray, for garnish

Edible pearl food coloring mist spray, for garnish

20 fresh mint sprigs, for garnish 

Directions

Special equipment:
ten 6-ounce ramekins
  1. For the "dread" pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter ten 6-ounce ramekins with the butter.
  2. Spread the sweet roll cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until golden and lightly toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  3. Whisk together the cream, almond milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and eggs and yolks in a large bowl. Transfer the toasted roll cubes to the mixture, toss to coat and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Fold the chocolate chips and cherries into the cream and bread mixture and evenly divide among the buttered ramekins. Bake until the tops are crispy and the custard has set, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. For the cherry "blood" sauce: Meanwhile, combine the cherries, brandy, honey and salt in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the butter. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half, about 30 minutes.
  6. For the shortbread "tombstones:" On a baking sheet lined with parchment, lay the shortbread cookies smooth-side up. Add the white chocolate chips to a small glass or microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals until melted.
  7. Pick out icing letters to spell RIP or various names or initials. Using a toothpick, spread the melted white chocolate onto the back of the icing letters and glue them to the shortbread cookies to resemble tombstones. Spray each tombstone with the black food coloring mist spray and let dry for a few minutes. Spray each with the pearl food coloring mist spray and let dry for a few minutes.
  8. Serve the "dread" puddings with cherry "blood" sauce and garnish with the shortbread tombstones and mint sprigs.