As Taste of Cambridge was coming to a close, I happened to wander over the Iggy's Bread table for one last roll before I left. Instead, I was handed was an entire French baguette. It was being used for their display and it was already pretty stale. Luckily, stale bread has a number of uses, including Bread Pudding. Bread Pudding is a dessert popular in places like Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, and even Puerto Rico. It is typically made from squares of stale bread (usually leftovers) and a custard made from a combination of milk, cream, eggs, sugar, spices, dried fruit, and/or nuts. Bread Pudding is often served with some sort of sauce, which may or may not be alcoholic. In the past, I have made a pumpkin bread pudding with a rum sauce, but this time I knew my main ingredient had to be chocolate.
I started by cubing the baguette and soaking it in a mixture of milk, half-and-half, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, dark chocolate chunks, and melted Nutella. After the custard had fully absorbed into the bread, I carefully transferred the cubes into a loaf pan and topped it with more dark chocolate and a few globs of Nutella. After baking for about an hour, the custard set and the bread pudding was ready to be devoured. The first night, we ate it hot and it was a gooey decadent chocolate-hazelnut mess. However, the next day we had it cold and enjoyed it much more. The flavors were more prominent and not hidden by the excitement of gooey-molten chocolate. I like how each individual cube of bread is treated as a bite with bits of chocolate custard clinging to it. I always cut the cubes pretty small so I can eat it slower and savor it later. I would love to make this bread pudding again but use individual 60z ramekins and maybe top it with a bit of homemade whipped cream and a sprig of mint.
Chocolate Nutella Bread Pudding
Adapted From: Kitchen Chronicles
1 + 1/2 cubs of french bread, cubed
1 + 1/2 cup milk
1/8 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 ounces dark chocolate chunks
1/4 cup Nutella + more for spooning on top
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan
-Cube the bread and set aside -In a large bowl, whisk the milk and half-and-half together.
-In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder.
-Add the sugar mixture to the milk mixture and mix well.
-In a small bowl, add the vanilla to the beaten eggs.
-Add the egg mixture to the milk mixture and mix well.
-Gently fold in the dark chocolate chunks.
-In a small saucepan over very low heat, warm the 1/4 cup of Nutella, stirring constantly. Once it is melted enough to pour, add it to the milk mixture, stirring constantly until fully combined
-Add cubed bread to mixture and make sure all surfaces of the cube have been covered in the custard mixture
-Let it sit for at least 20 minutes (or until the bread soaks up most of the egg mixture), stirring occasionally.
-Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean and the custard has set.
-Remove the pudding from the oven and place little dollops of the leftover Nutella over the top.
-Serve warm or chilled
Photo Credit: Zac Wolf