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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat kirsch (or orange juice) just to simmering; remove from heat. Add cherries (or dried plums) and let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Do not drain.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a very large bowl, toss bread with melted butter until coated. Divide half of the bread cubes evenly between two 1-1/2-quart casserole dishes or place in one 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle half of the chocolate evenly over bread; reserve remaining chocolate. Spoon half of the fruit and liquid evenly over the chocolate layer; reserve remaining half of fruit and liquid. Top with remaining bread.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, half-and-half (or cream), sugar and vanilla until combined. Slowly pour egg mixture evenly over the layers. Press layers down lightly.
Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 to 20 minutes more for the small dishes or 30 minutes more for the large dish, or until egg portion in center appears set. Sprinkle remaining chocolate and fruit with liquid evenly over the top. Let stand about 1 hour. Serve warm.