So, I know there is probably some confusion on what exactly my favorite dessert is. Heck, you probably don't care in the least, but let's just pretend for a minute, shall we? If you have been reading for a while you probably think that my favorite dessert is one of two things, either bread pudding (in most any form) or chocolate cake (not flour less). You would be right. Both are my favorite depending on the day, mood, weather and my appetite. That being said, I try to eat them as often as I can in as many forms as I can.
I made this hazelnut variety and served it to my in-laws when they came over for dinner. My father-in-law is a big lover of bread pudding like me and my husband, so really there was no other option. I had never made this particular recipe before, but I am so glad I took a chance on it because it was out of this world good! It's a basic bread pudding, not too mushy, where the integrity of the bread is not compromised but keeps it's general shape up top. Then it is covered with a blanket of warm buttery sauce that is infused with Frangelico, a hazelnut liquor, instead of the traditional bourbon. It's outstanding. Really. I ate way too much of this that night and went to bed with a stomach ache. Not hard to do, as you will see when you make this. I'm not kidding when I say that. This recipe is supposed to feed 6-8 people but four of us polished it off, no problem. If you know us, it's not that surprising.
Hazelnut Custard Bread Pudding
adapted from MixingBowl.com
Makes 8 servings, theoretically
1 Italian or French loaf or 10 slices day-old white bread or cinnamon bread torn or cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup raisins (optional)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Frangelico (hazelnut liquor)
7 tablespoons butter, cut up
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Place ton bread and raisins in prepared dish; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, the 1 1/2 cups sugar, the 4 tablespoons melted butter, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and the nutmeg. Pour over bread and raisins in prepared dish.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan, combine the 2/3 cup sugar and the flour. Whisk in water and Frangelico until smooth. Add butter. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Serve warm sauce over warm bread pudding.