Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding

Dinner tonight was quick leftovers, because I wanted to concentrate on making a decadent, warm dessert to counter the 20 degree weather outside.  I started this blog with a recipe for a bread pudding (see post for Indian Bread Pudding with Cardamom Sauce), and tonight I tried a version flavored with hazelnut and chocolate - perfect for the holiday season. 

  • 1 and 1/3 cups plain non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ounce chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 Ener-G eggs
  • 1/4 cup Frangelico
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed French bread baguette
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts*
  • 2 cups vanilla non-dairy ice cream
1. Combine the milk, sugar, cocoa, and chocolate in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts, stirring constantly (about 3 to 5 minutes); do not let the mixture come to a boil.

2. Whisk the Ener-G eggs in a large bowl until slightly frothy, then add the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in the Frangelico, vanilla extract, and salt.  Add the bread cubes and toss gently to coat.

3. Spoon the mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours - I chilled mine for 3 hours.

4.  Sprinkle the top evenly with the hazelnuts, then place the baking dish in a 13x9-inch baking dish.  Fill the larger dish with hot water to a depth of 1 inch.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake a final 5 minutes - a knife tip inserted in the center should come out clean.

5. Divide the pudding into 8 squares, and serve warm with 1/4 cup vanilla non-dairy ice cream of your choice over each serving.  The ice cream will melt over the pudding to form a decadent sauce.

*To remove the skins from hazelnuts, toast them first on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Place on a clean dish towel and rub off the skins, then chop.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 pudding square, 1/4 cup ice cream), Calories 277

Tasting Notes:
It's the first time I'm awarding a "5" on this blog - which means that one bite of this dessert and you simply have to close your eyes and savor it for a good 15 seconds before thought returns.  Deliciously chocolate-y, the perfect texture, and wonderful hints of vanilla and hazelnut.  I only could have done with a tiny bit more Frangelico flavor coming through!


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