Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding

by Jillian
This Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding is made with fluffy cubes of challah bread, rich chocolate custard, and a generous drizzle of Nutella ganache! Decadent would be an understatement.

Fluffy cubes of challah bread soaked in rich dark chocolate custard and generously drizzled with the silkiest Nutella ganache! Decadent would be an understatement.

To anyone who has always turned their nose up at bread pudding, this Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding is for YOU.

Why?

Well first off, it’s probably the least “bread puddingy” bread pudding you will EVER have. In fact, it’s more like digging into a warm pan of ooey gooey fudgy brownies.

PLUS, it’s drizzled with the silkiest, most divine Nutella ganache in the ENTIRE universe.

Honestly, what’s not to adore about this bread pudding?? With its chocolate custard-soaked cubes of fluffy challah bread, melty pockets of milk chocolate chips, and rich Nutella ganache, it’s absolutely PACKED full of deep dark chocolatey deliciousness. It’s really not like any bread pudding you’ve had before. TRUST me.

Aside from its flavor and richness, there are three things that I love about bread pudding. First off, it revives dry/stale bread by transforming it into a kind of “cake cobbler”. Secondly, there are a million baJillian ways to customize it. And lastly, it’s one of the simplest desserts you can make!

It all starts with the bread. For this recipe in particular, I went with a soft, buttery challah bread. Typically, challah or brioche are the types of breads called for in bread pudding recipes, but I’ve also had great success with crusty baguettes, flakey croissants, and French bread. Whatever bread you decide to go with, make sure that it’s dry/stale. Just let it sit out on the counter overnight. Or, if you’re a procrastinator like myself, cut the bread up into cubes, scatter it on a baking sheet and toast it in a preheated 350ºF oven for 8-10 minutes. Drying the bread out allows it to soak up all of that yummy custard!

As with most of my bread pudding recipes, I prefer to use an equal ratio of heavy cream and milk in my custard base. I also like to remove most of the egg whites from the eggs to eliminate any eggy sulfuric flavor that might result after baking. I’ve found that one full egg and 3 egg yolks is perfect. As for sweetness, only 1/3 cup of brown sugar is needed since you’ll also be melting 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate into the custard. Of course, that still wasn’t enough chocolate for my taste, so I also decided to add 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder. It doesn’t hurt, right?

After a dash of salt and a splash of vanilla are stirred into the custard, the bread is tossed in. Make sure that every single piece of that bread is absolutely SATURATED in the custard! Once combined, even MORE chocolate is added in the form of creamy milk chocolate chips. I ended up stirring in 2/3 of the milk chocolate chips, then sprinkling the last 1/3 cup on top of the bread pudding immediately after baking it. If you do choose to save 1/3 cup for the top like I did, I’d recommend not sprinkling the chocolate chips on before placing it in the oven since it tends to burn as it’s baking.

Before the bread pudding is ready for the oven, it’s important to allow the bread to soak in the custard for AT LEAST an hour. In fact, I almost always make my bread pudding up the night before, then bake it the next day. For one thing, this allows you to make the dessert up ahead of time. And another thing, the longer the bread is able to soak in the custard, the more creamy and flavorful it turns out.

To me, a bread pudding ALWAYS needs some kind of sauce or topping to go with it. Not only does it make it look more enticing, but it just adds more richness, which is what I’m ALL about on this blog. However, this was the first bread pudding where I almost didn’t drizzle anything on top. It came out so incredibly creamy and fudgy that I was afraid a sauce might by overkill. 

Thankfully, I came to my senses and realized that there’s no such thing as “overkill” on this blog, and I made up the most heavenly Nutella ganache to drizzle on top. Not only is this ganache some of the most addictive stuff you’ll EVER try (it’s LETHAL), but it’s also incredibly easy to make. Just scoop a 1/2 cup of Nutella into a bowl along with a 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Heat up a 1/2 cup of heavy cream either on the stove or in the microwave. Pour the boiling cream over the Nutella and chocolate chips, then cover it with plastic wrap. After 5 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and stir until smooth and silky! And don’t worry, this recipe makes PLENTY of ganache, so you’ll have enough to drizzle over the bread pudding AND your mouth if you want.

While there’s nothing better than a scoop of cool creamy vanilla ice cream melting all throughout the crevices of a warm dessert straight out of the oven, I topped this bread pudding with whipped cream instead. I figured it would be a little less heavy than ice cream, seeing as this dessert is rather decadent on its own. But if you prefer ice cream, be my guest! 

Decadent, rich, dark chocolatey, and absolutely DIVINE. Who knew it was possible to transform something as unappealing as stale bread into something as sinful as this sexy beast?

This Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding is made with fluffy cubes of challah bread, rich chocolate custard, and a generous drizzle of Nutella ganache! Decadent would be an understatement.

This Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding is made with fluffy cubes of challah bread, rich chocolate custard, and a generous drizzle of Nutella ganache! Decadent would be an understatement.

Death By Chocolate Bread Pudding

Fluffy cubes of challah bread soaked in rich dark chocolate custard and generously drizzled with the silkiest Nutella ganache! Decadent would be an understatement.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soaking Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients
  

Bread Pudding:

  • 8 ounces semi-chocolate chips or chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounces day-old challah bread cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips divided

Nutella Ganache:

  • ½ cup Nutella
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

Make the Bread Pudding:

  • Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  • Pour the heavy cream, milk, brown sugar, and cocoa powder into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Immediately pour hot cream mixture over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and egg together. Slowly whisk in a few tablespoons of the chocolate cream mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate cream, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the salt and vanilla. Gently fold in the bread and 2/3 cup of the milk chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish, gently pressing down on the bread to ensure all of the pieces are saturated in the custard. Allow to sit and soak for at least an hour**.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the bread pudding for 35-40 minutes. I baked it covered for the first 20 minutes, then removed the foil for the remaining time to allow it to get slightly crisp on the top. After it's done baking, immediately sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of the milk chocolate chips evenly over the bread pudding.

Make the Ganache:

  • Place the Nutella and chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour the heavy cream into a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave until it begins to boil.*** Once the cream is hot, pour it over the Nutella and chocolate chips. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and stir ganache until smooth.

To Serve:

  • Scoop bread pudding onto a plate or in a bowl. Drizzle with Nutella ganache and top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Notes

*You could also use brioche, french bread, croissants, or a baguette. Whichever bread you use, leave it out overnight so it’s stale and can really soak up the custard. Moist bread creates a soggy bread pudding.
*If your bread isn't dry/stale, cut it into cubes and scatter it evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 8-10 minutes.
**I allowed my bread pudding to soak overnight.
***Heavy cream can also be heated over the stove in a small saucepan.
****Cover leftover bread pudding with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, warm in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
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