Tuscan Chocolate Hazelnut Bread Pudding
It's winter (in case you haven't noticed), and it's bread pudding season!, plus I had leftover chocolate bread from Il Buco Alimenatari sitting on my counter!
There's nothing better than a stale loaf.
Giulia, a cook from Tuscany, tells us that Italians don't waste food. They would never throw away a leftover loaf of bread.
Neither would I (at least I would throw it to the birds).
Croutons, panzanella or bread pudding.
In this case, since the bread was of the chocolate variety, a bread pudding it was going to be.
I will write out the recipe for using a whole loaf (about 5 cups of torn bread), but if you only have half a loaf leftover, just cut the ingredients in half and bake in a small casserole dish or individual buttered ramekins.
Tuscan Chocolate Bread Pudding: (loosely adapted from Jul's Kitchen)
5 to 6 cups chocolate or Itailan rustic white bread, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I use 70% dark)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups whole milk, heated
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (if using Italian white bread)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, tear up your bread into small pieces and add the hot milk to the bowl. Mix together with a fork until nice and mushy.
Now add in eggs and rest of ingredients.
Pour into buttered 9" x 9" oval baking dish.
Bake at 350F for 40 minutes (bake 20 minutes if baking in individual ramekins).
Delicious for breakfast, served with a dollop of yogurt.