Cake Doughnut Bread Pudding

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Serves:
8 to 10 servings

This is not dietetic but is delicious and a fun alternative to sufganiyot for Chanukah.

Bread pudding:
1 stick unsalted margarine
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups pareve cream (to lighten it up use vanilla soymilk)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
½ cup pecans, toasted (optional)
16 cake doughnuts

Caramel sauce
1-1/2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1-1/2 cups pareve whipping cream
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine margarine and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.

Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins and pecans over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.

For Caramel Sauce:

Bring sugar, pareve cream, and margarine to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil until caramel thickens enough to coat spoon thickly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. DO AHEAD Caramel sauce can be made 5 days ahead. Cover; chill. Whisk over low heat until warm before using.

Red Wine Caramel Sauce
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cup dry red wine
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted margarine

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a small heavy saucepan, then add pod and wine. Boil over moderate heat until wine is reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Discard pod.

While wine is reducing, bring sugar and water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals on side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until syrup turns pale golden. Continue to cook caramel, swirling pan, until deep golden.

Remove from heat, then carefully pour wine down side of pan (caramel will vigorously steam and harden). Simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in margarine and serve warm.

Cooks’ note: • Red-wine caramel sauce keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week. Reheat before serving.

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