I like that fact that bread pudding is a cross between a custard and a cake. I also like that it tends to be a family-style dessert, baked in a big casserole dish or a loaf pan and and portioned out into both big and small servings. It can be made in advance and can also serve a crowd. But as nice as it is as a family-style, comfort food dish, it can be just as nice when it is put in a smaller package made into something a little more elegant. With single serving bread puddings, you get the flavor of all that comfort food in a dressed up package.
These Individual Nutella Bread Puddings are very rich tasting and not too sweet. There is quite a lot of Nutella – a creamy chocolate hazelnut spread – in the bread pudding mixture, so these have a nice hazelnut flavor to the, as well as a good chocolate flavor. Adding in some chocolate chips really ups the amount of chocolate you taste in each bite – especially when this bread pudding is served hot and the chips are still melty. These are also tasty when chilled, though leftovers will heat up well in the microwave.
These puddings are easy enough to make for everyday occasions, but they make a fantastic and easy-to-make special occasion dessert as well. Valentine’s Day and anniversaries in particular are perfect for a chocolaty dessert like this, where you can give your loved one his or her own serving, or the two of you can split one. I like these plain, but a little dollop of whipped cream or even a bit of vanilla ice cream melting on top of a hot bread pudding would really finish things off well.
Individual Nutella Bread Puddings
5 cups cubed challah or brioche bread (approx 1/2 loaf)
2 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Nutella
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease six 6-oz ramekins.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, Nutella, cocoa powder and vanilla until very smooth. Add in cubed bread and turn gently with a spatula to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow bread to soak up some of the liquid. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
Use a large spoon to evenly distribute the pudding mixture between the prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet (you may want to line it with aluminum foil to catch any drips).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puddings are puffed set.
Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Puddings may deflate slightly as they cool.