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Chocolate Bourbon Bread Pudding

1 lb. Cinnamon raisin bread cut into 1" cubes
1 c Dried cherries, coarse chopped
2 c Heavy cream
1 1/2 c Milk
1c Brown sugar
8 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 T Vanilla extract
1/2 c Bourbon whiskey
8 ea Large eggs
2 t Unsalted butter
1 each 13" X 9" X 2" baking pan

Combine milk, cream and sugar in a heavy saucepot and cook over med-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture nears a boil. Remove from heat; add chocolate, stir until smooth. Beat eggs, vanilla and bourbon together to combine. SLOWLY whisk in chocolate into mixture in increments (to temper). Toss the bread and cherries in this mixture and let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the baking pan generously with butter. Add bread pudding mixture and cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes in a hot water bath.

Remove foil. Continue baking another 10-20 minutes until set in center and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool thoroughly on a rack.