Cast Iron Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding
Why This Recipe Works
Adding rich chocolate flavor to a traditional bread pudding sounds like a winning proposition, but the reality isn't always so great. It's not as simple as just adding cocoa powder or melted chocolate to an existing recipe; that will give you weak, uneven chocolate flavor and can also compromise the texture of the dish. For truly chocolaty bread pudding we turned to a rich custard made with Nutella spread, plus chocolate chips stirred in with the bread to ensure extra chocolate flavor in every bite. The Nutella gave us excellent chocolate presence plus extra depth and dimension from the hazelnut flavor. We used challah (our top choice for its flavor and texture) that we “staled” in the oven to prevent it from turning soggy when combined with the custard. A combination of brown and granulated sugars sprinkled over the top of the dish gave the baked pudding an appealing crunch. Our cast-iron skillet was the perfect vessel for taking this decadent dessert from oven to table while keeping everything warm and melty.