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Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding
Total 2 hours (includes standing and cooling times)
Active 20 mins
Makes 12 to 16 servings
Ingredients
  • Candied Hazelnuts
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    • 2 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
    • 2 cups chopped raw or blanched hazelnuts
  • Bread Pudding
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 1 tablespoon for the baking dish
    • One 1-pound loaf French bread, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
    • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
    • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
    • 8 ounces bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate, 4 ounces melted and cooled slightly and 4 ounces coarsely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
    • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
    • 2 cups homemade whipped cream or good-quality store-bought whipped cream
    Directions
    1. To make the candied hazelnuts: In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until well combined.
    2. Add the hazelnuts and stir to completely coat them in the butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 8 minutes.
    3. Scrape onto a sheet of wax paper and let cool to room temperature. Break apart as necessary before using.
    4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
    5. To make the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
    6. Evenly spread the torn bread in the prepared pan. Set aside.
    7. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolks until well blended. Whisk in the half-and-half, cream, 1 cup of granulated sugar, vanilla bean paste or extract, 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of melted butter, 4 ounces of melted chocolate, and salt.
    8. Pour the custard evenly over the bread, making sure that all of the bread is coated. Fold in the chocolate pieces, making sure that the chocolate is well distributed throughout and not all at the bottom of the dish. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and pressing the bread into the liquid. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
    9. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let stand on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Lightly dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Drizzle with the chocolate-hazelnut spread and serve warm, topped with whipped cream and candied hazelnuts.
    10. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.