Warm Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding
Chocolate bread puddings are laced with hazelnut bits and centered with melted chocolate. They are served with coffee ice cream on a plate sauced with creme anglaise and garnished with fresh fruit. Let the liquid chocolate centers be a surprise for guests!
- White Bread - 4 cups, crust removed, torn into small pieces
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 12 tablespoons
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 4 ounces, melted
- Dry Bread Crumbs - 1 cup
- Ground hazelnuts - 1 cup, toasted
- Vanilla - 1 tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 10
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Semi-sweet chocolate - 4 ounces, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Peaches or nectarines - 4
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Crème Anglaise - 2 cups
- Coffee ice cream - 1 gallon
- Strawberries - 1 cup, hulled and cut in half lengthwise
- Blueberries - 1 cup
- Raspberries - 1 cup
- Tuile cookies or mint leaves - 24, small
Grease 12 ramekins with butter. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Soak the bread in the milk and gently squeeze out any excess. Cream the butter and confectioner’s sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. One at a time, add the egg yolks, beating between each addition until fully incorporated. Add the squeezed bread, chocolate, bread crumbs, nuts, and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix well.
In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the sugar while beating. Beat until the whites stand in stiff, shiny peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fill the greased ramekins 3/4 full. Bury a small chunk of chocolate in the center of each. Place the filled ramekins in a large deep pan and fill the pan with hot water two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins to create a water bath. Cover with foil. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove from water bath. Let cool enough to handle.
To serve: Peel and pit the peaches or nectarines and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Toss with the lemon juice. Sauce the dessert plates with crème anglaise: pour a little crème anglaise into each and tilt the plates to spread the sauce over the inner surface of the plates. Unmold a bread pudding onto each dessert plate. Place a small scoop of coffee ice cream next to each. Garnish with the peaches or nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Finish each with a small tuile cookie or mint leaf.