¾ cup dried tart or sweet cherries
¾ cup apple juice or water
8 slices whole-wheat bread
¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ cups refrigerated plain coconut milk, divided (see note)
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Canola oil cooking spray
¼ cup dark chocolate chips, at least 60-63 percent cocoa
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
In small bowl, soak cherries in apple juice or water to plump them. Drain well, and set aside.
Stack bread slices and using serrated knife, cut off crust. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; making about 7 cups.
In large mixing bowl, combine cocoa, sugar and salt. Add ⅓ cup coconut milk and whisk until smooth. Add remaining coconut milk, and whisk to combine well. Add eggs, egg whites and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Add cubed bread and drained cherries, mixing gently until all bread is moistened. Set mixture aside to soak for 30-60 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
Stir mixture again to evenly distribute cherries. Spread mixture in prepared pan. Sprinkle on chocolate chips and almonds. Bake until knife inserted in center of pudding comes out clean, 40-45 minutes.
Cool on rack until just warm. Cut pudding into 12 pieces, and serve. Or cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Cook's note: Look for unsweetened refrigerated coconut milk beverage with about 50 calories per cup.
@Recipe nutrition:Nutrition values per serving: 176 calories, 4 g fat (2 g sat fat), 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein, 232 mg sodium.
Dana Jacobi, American Institute for Cancer Research