December 13, 2012

EAT: chocolate hazelnut bread pudding

First things first: pre-heat oven to 350F.  Then follow along for pictures and directions. :)

This is challah bread (Jewish braided egg bread). You can use a bread to your liking but this one is suggested because of its crust, firmness and rich egg flavor. 

Ingredients: (8-12 servings)
  • 1 (14 oz)  loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (12 cups) 
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate pieces (1 hershey size bar), break into pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 eggs (6 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs)
  • 1 cup Nutella spread
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1 table spoon to add with brown sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (forgot to add in picture but you know what salt looks like)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 cup hazelnuts - toasted and crushed or chopped
  • whip cream or ice cream optional but recommended

Cut the challah bread into 1-inch cubes the best that you can.  The braided texture is just a bit tough to cut through but it doesn't have to be perfect. Toast the bread cubes until dry and crisp, but not overly brown to get all the moisture out of the bread.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, cream and 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs (no more than 2 whole eggs! make sure you get just the 4 egg yolks), nutella, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract.    

And then, add the dry bread cubes into the mixture.  Then throw the bittersweet chocolate pieces in the mix. Stir well to make sure that all the bread soaks up the cream/egg mixture. 

Before you transfer your soaked goodness into a pan (here I used a 9 x 13 cake pan but a smaller one could have been used), make sure the pan is greased up real good.  As you can see in my picture on the sides, I buttered up the pan real good. Transfer the mixture to a buttered baking dish and pack down tightly.  Pour any cream mixture that may be left in the bowl into the pan.  Mix together the remaining light brown sugar with the tablespoon of granulated sugar.  Then sprinkle the sugar mixture  over the top of the bread pudding. 

Then put pan in the oven and bake for 350F for 25 minutes or  until it has firmed up a bit and the top begins to crisp a little (that's why the crust on the challah bread is perfect for this). And voila, it's THAT simple!

While you wait, you can lightly toast your hazelnuts on a pan and chop them up to prepare to garnish  your completed bread pudding. :)

Serve in bowls with whipped cream and sprinkle with the hazelnuts!  It adds texture to the pudding and crunchy deliciousness. 

To give as gifts for those ballin on a budget like me, I got these cute bakery packaging from Kmart from the Martha Stewart holiday crafts line. I just scooped enough bread pudding to fill right up to the top so when you close with the cellophane wrapping, the chocolate doesn't get all messy. 

Peek-a-boo! I see you! You, sweet deliciousness.

All wrapped up and ready to gift.  A DIY holiday gift baked with LOVE.  

For a finishing touch, I printed out customized labels with heating instructions and best served with suggestions and a short personalized note. Hopefully better than giving that fruit cake. 


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