Bread pudding is one of those homey, comforting desserts I did not eat growing up. When I finally tried it, it was one of those Where Have I Been moments. It tasted so sublime; I still remember biting into warm, billowy and soft bread coated with custard that was just set and dotted with raisins. Brilliant! The idea of not wasting food by taking stale bread and turning it into something this good is hard for me to resist.
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich’s latest book, Pure Dessert. I’ve lost track of the number of recipes I want to try from this beautiful book – like flan with raw sugar sauce, bittersweet chocolate and citrus tart with jasmine cream, walnut sponge cake, etc., but since I had some leftover pain de mie, this seemed as good a time as any to make her Nutella Bread Pudding.
Bread. Chocolate. Custard.
That’s all I have to say.
NUTELLA BREAD PUDDING
from Pure Dessert
- Enough 1/4 inch (.6cm) –[I used 1/2 inch (1.5cm)] slices of home-style or bakery white bread or baguette, with or without the crusts, to cover the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) square (I used an 8-inch round) baking dish, not too tightly, with 2 layers of bread
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup (64g-75g) of Nutella – I actually used about 2/3 cup (150g) – life is short, ya know
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (112g) sugar
- Scant 1/8 tsp. (1g) salt
- 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) milk
- 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) heavy cream
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Put the bread in the bottom of the baking dish to make sure you have sliced enough to make two layers.
Remove the bread from the dish. If the bread is fresh, lay slices on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes on each side, or until very lightly toasted. Let the slices cool. Spread one side of each slice of bread with Nutella. Cut or break large whole slices (not baguette slices) into 4 pieces each. Arrange the bread, nutella side facing up, in the baking dish in one layer of overlapping pieces, with rounded crusts or trimmed angles showing attractively.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt together. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Pour the egg mixture through a strainer into the baking dish. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and press any floating bread pieces back into the egg mixture. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Put a kettle of water on to boil.
Uncover the pudding and place it in a baking pan large enough to hold it with a little space on all sides, and then into the oven. Pull the oven rack out and carefully pour enough boiling water into the large pan to come halfway u p the sides of the baking dish. Bake until a knife inserted into the pudding comes out free of custard (or with a little Nutella clinging to it), 50-55 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour.