Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings during Chanukah with a selection of tasty desserts.
Challah Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Raisins
4 cups whole milk, warmed
8 tbsp butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 ½ inch slices
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup raisins
For the chocolate ganache
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Combine warmed milk and melted butter with the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Line a large baking dish with two-thirds of the challah slices. Sprinkle with half the chocolate chips and half the raisins. Top with remaining challah slices, layering them one on top of the other, and then remaining chocolate chips and raisins, making sure the chips and raisins get inside the layers created by the challah slices.
Pour milk mixture slowly over the top of everything and let stand until the bread has absorbed almost all of the liquid, 5 to 10 minutes.
Wrap the baking dish tightly with aluminium foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the aluminium foil and cook 10 to 15 minutes longer until set in the middle and lightly browned on top.
For the ganache
In a small saucepan, heat cream to just below a simmer.
Place the chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips.
Whisk until ganache becomes a smooth chocolate sauce. Drizzle over the top and serve while warm.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ cup apricot preserves
1 1/3 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1 cup currants
½ cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp cream
Whisk flour and salt in a bowl; set aside. Mix butter and cream cheese. Add flour mixture. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a ball; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 6 hours (up to overnight).
Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl; set aside. Divide dough into quarters. Working 1 piece at a time, roll out to a 12 by 8 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. With long side facing you, spread with 3 tbsp of apricot preserve, leaving a ¼ inch border. Sprinkle with ¼ cup each walnuts and currants, 2 tbsp raisins, and 2 tbsp sugar mixture. Tightly roll dough into a log; place, seam side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Brush each log with cream; sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; cool 15 minutes. Cut into 1 inch-thick slices.
Fried Apple Fritters
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup fine yellow cornmeal
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp coarse salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ inch-thick rings
Icing sugar, for dusting
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and ¾ cup water in another bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine.
Heat about 4 inches oil in a medium cast-iron or heavy stockpot until it registers 360°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Dredge apple rings into flour, shaking off excess; then dip into batter. Working in small batches, fry, turning once, until dark golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Adjust heat between batches as needed to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Dust with icing sugar before serving.