Happy Endings

During months as chilly as February, it only seems right to offer one of my favorite warm desserts of all time. It's been cold for what seems like forever, but is actually a few months ... which is close enough for me! But, one of the true pleasures of the winter months is the special touch the chill in the air adds to warm treats like this Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding.

While every bite of this piping hot dessert is pure bliss, it also packs a bit of a nutritional punch. First, the amount of fat and calories is reduced by limiting the number of egg yolks to one and using three whipped egg whites to make up the difference. Also, using oatmeal bread instead of plain white bread gives this dessert a great texture and a nice helping of fiber.

So, when the cold weather gets to you just a bit too much, whip up this delightful Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding. It's just what the doctor ordered for that case of the winter blues.

Chocolate-Orange Bread Pudding

  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • cooking spray
  • 4 thick slices oatmeal bread -- cubed
  • 1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the orange juice, egg yolk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Carefully fold the cocoa powder into the egg mixture.

In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cocoa and egg yolk mixture.

Lightly coat a 1 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and arrange the bread cubes evenly across the bottom. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the bread crumbs.

Place the casserole pan in a 9X13-inch baking pan and carefully add boiling water to the baking pan until it reaches one inch up the side of the casserole pan. Bake the bread pudding for 35-40 minutes or until it is golden brown. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and serve hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 50 minutes