Eggnog Bread Pudding with Nutella Ganache

by Jillian
Buttery croissants immersed in a rich eggnog custard, baked until golden brown, and drizzled in silky Nutella ganache!

Buttery croissants immersed in a rich eggnog custard, baked until golden brown, and drizzled in silky Nutella ganache!

I know we’re technically still in Thanksgiving territory, however, I can only wait so long to break out the eggnog. Can ya blame me though? When you consider the fact that eggnog is only available for an excruciatingly LIMITED amount of time, it makes perfect sense that I’d be absolutely pining for this luxuriously creamy beverage. 

Other than gulping it down like a drunken sailor, my favorite thing to do with eggnog is bake it into divinely delicious desserts. I’ve done everything from pie, to cupcakes, to snickerdoodles and trifles. However, I still haven’t combined this classic holiday beverage with one of my favorite desserts…bread pudding.

That is, until now…

Not only is this bread pudding absolutely brimming with eggnog sweetness, but it’s also drizzled in a rich Nutella ganache. A few years ago, I made the most delicious Nutella Eggnog Hot Chocolate, and the combination definitely did NOT disappoint. The roasted hazelnut and deep cocoa flavor of the Nutella pairs so incredibly well with the slightly spiced, yet indulgently creamy eggnog. I just knew I had to unite these two heavenly flavors once again. 

For the best bread pudding, you’ll need to start with dry/stale bread. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with using croissants in my bread puddings since they’re significantly more buttery than your average baguette or French bread loaf. They also have a way of really soaking up all that delicious custard, creating an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture once it’s been baked.

As I just mentioned, stale bread is absolutely KEY when it comes to bread puddings. It ensures that the bread soaks up as much of the custard as possible. Since I don’t usually keep bread long enough for it to dry out, I just use the oven method by scattering the torn-up bread into an even layer on a baking sheet, then drying/toasting it in a preheated 350ºF oven for 8-10 minutes. It’s ok if they get a little toasty–just make sure they don’t burn.

Now we move on to the lusciously rich custard that the bread is soaked in. It’s super simple and everything comes together in one bowl. First you’ll whisk some granulated sugar, brown sugar, a few egg yolks, and one whole egg together until light and pale. I prefer 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 3 egg yolks and one full egg is perfect. As for sweetness, only 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar are needed since the eggnog contains a good amount of sweetness on its own.

To round out the flavor of the custard, a splash of vanilla, a dash of salt, some cinnamon, and a little ground nutmeg are added. The cinnamon and nutmeg amplify the flavor of the eggnog. Once the eggnog is whisked into the mixture, it’s time to toss the bread in. Make sure that every single piece of bread is completely saturated before pouring everything into a greased baking dish.

Before the bread pudding goes into the oven, it needs some time to soak. I usually allow my bread pudding to soak overnight. While a couple of hours will definitely suffice, I’ve found that the longer you let the bread soak in the custard, the more the flavors are able to develop since the ingredients have had plenty of time to “mingle”. If you do decide to take the overnight route, I would recommend allowing the bread pudding to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before baking.

Buttery croissants immersed in a rich eggnog custard, baked until golden brown, and drizzled in silky Nutella ganache!

To create that delicately crisp crust on top of the bread pudding, I like to sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on top right before placing it into the oven. This not only creates that super thin, delicately crisp crust on top of the bread pudding, but it also adds a little extra sweetness.

As the bread pudding is baking/beautifying in the oven, you can make the sauce–I mean, NUTELLA GANACHE…

Guys, this stuff is lethal. If chocolate ganache wasn’t blissful enough on its own, try adding Nutella to it. And aside from how heavenly it is, the best part about this ganache is that it comes together in less than a few minutes. Seriously! All you have to do is place some Nutella, semi-sweet chocolate chips and some heavy cream into a bowl, heat it in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds, then stir until smooth. 

Tip: If you find that your ganache looks really oily, it’s most likely because it overheated. Don’t worry, there’s a simple fix for this! Just warm up 1-2 tablespoons of milk, then slowly stir it into the ganache, a little at a time. It’ll eventually come together and become silky smooth!

Honestly, I can’t think of a more comforting Christmas dessert than this Eggnog Bread Pudding. In fact, it’s probably one of the best gifts you could ever give your tastebuds…

Buttery croissants immersed in a rich eggnog custard, baked until golden brown, and drizzled in silky Nutella ganache!

Buttery croissants immersed in a rich eggnog custard, baked until golden brown, and drizzled in silky Nutella ganache!

Eggnog Bread Pudding with Nutella Ganache

Buttery croissants immersed in a rich eggnog custard, baked until golden brown, and drizzled in silky Nutella ganache!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soaking Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 13 ounces croissants, torn (about 5 croissants)

Custard:

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups eggnog

For Topping:

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

For the Nutella Ganache:

  • ¾ cup Nutella
  • ¼ cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Scatter the torn croissants evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until dry and toasted, about 8-10 minutes.* Allow croissants to cool while you prepare the custard.

Make the Custard:

  • In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, egg yolks, whole egg, vanilla, spices, and salt together until smooth. Stir in the eggnog until combined. Gently fold in the croissants.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 8-inch square baking dish, gently pressing down on the bread to ensure that all of the pieces are completely saturated in the custard. Allow to sit and soak for at least two hours**.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the bread pudding, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and toasty.

Make the Nutella Ganache:

  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, stir, then return to the microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir until smooth and silky.***
  • To serve, slice/scoop bread pudding into bowls. Top with a few spoonfuls of the Nutella ganache and enjoy!

Notes

*If your croissants are already dry/stale, you can skip this toasting step.
**You can also prepare this bread pudding the night before, allow it to soak overnight, then bake it in the oven the next day. If you do this, make sure to let the bread pudding sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes before placing in the oven.
***If your ganache breaks our looks really oily, it's mostly due to being overheated. Luckily, there's a simply fix for this. Just add warm milk, a teaspoon or so at a time, and stir until completely smooth and silky.

 

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