Nutella and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding


For as long as I can remember, my mom and I were avid readers of Food Magazine. I’m not sure if it was the first of its kind in the country, but one thing was certain: it was the best. I was particularly glued to a column by its then editor-in-chief, called “Kiddie Cuisine” which showcases simple recipes designed for little hands in the kitchen. But most of the time when I was younger, I may or may not have let my mom do it and passed it off as my own.

Food Magazine has grown over the years, with around two editorial board changes, but I’m glad that its first editor-in-chief, Norma Chikiamco, is still pretty much active in print, with her column appearing in the Lifestyle section of Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In one of her columns she shares a recipe for bread pudding which, according to her, is one of the best she has ever tried. It digresses from my usual take on bread pudding. For one, this recipe is more traditional in the sense that she doesn’t toast the bread. Toasting the bread gives it more texture and bite, which I like, but my mom doesn’t. And I was apprehensive at the amount of sugar the original recipe called for, because I’m always scared of making desserts too sweet.

I tweaked this recipe a bit with the additional of NUTELLA, which has been my recent go-to, “out of the jar” snack when I’m craving for just one spoonful. Don’t judge. I essentially made nutella sandwiches using stale bread, sliced and shredded the bread into smaller chunks and allowed it to sit in the custard mixture.

The result: a little too sweet for my taste, that’s why for this recipe I’ll put in the amount of sugar that I wish I could have used. But she was right – when allowed to cool for a while, but still very warm and toasty, it melts in your mouth like a custard, dripping with melted chocolate. Well, I’m not really a fan of chocolate if it’s not dark, so if you have a bar of your favorite dark chocolate on hand, use that instead of chocolate chips.

I can imagine a better version of this that’s a notch lower in sweetness, peppered with melted dark chocolate. Nutella or no nutella, this is something special. Wait, I take that back, nutella makes everything more special.

Nutella and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding (Makes 12-16 servings; adapted from PDI Lifestyle)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 6 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips/chunks
  • 16 – 18 slices day-old loaf bread
  • a jar of Nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9” x 13” baking pan. Or, spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread nutella all over one sandwich slice and top with another slice. Repeat the process with all the slices. You will end up with 8 – 9 sandwichesPhotobucket
  3. Slice the sandwiches into smaller chunks, around 4 – 6 chunks per sandwich.Photobucket
  4. Using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer/hand mixer, “whisk” or “cream” the butter in a bowl. Add sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and nutmeg.PhotobucketPhotobucket
  5. Arrange the sandwich chunks and the chocolate chips on the prepared pan.Photobucket
  6. Pour the milk mixture into the prepared baking pan.Photobucket
  7. Bake for one hour or until it turns solid and the top is golden brown and crusty.
  8. Let stand a few minutes before serving. Best served warm.

This is completely unrelated but important nonetheless. Let me just put it out there that The Hungry Giant is rooting for Jessica Sanchez to win it all on American Idol! I’m rooting for her not just because she’s Filipino as well, but really because she’s the best. She deserves to win!

If you’re American, and you love The Hungry Giant, then please, do me this really big favor and vote for Jessica Sanchez. You’ll love her too, well, if you haven’t already. It’ll be a total shame, not to mention an upset, if she doesn’t win. I know, I know, win or lose she has a bright career ahead of her but seeing her take the crown this year  would be a victory on so many levels. Please?


Pandesal Bread Pudding for Friends

It’s been a few days, well, four days to be exact, since the….anniversary. It’s not really a pleasant one and I’d like to keep the memories of the incident buried. But since it’s been a year, I might as well remember it.
Last year, 10/10/10, I had undergone my first surgery for appendicitis.

Even if I’m a nurse, the experience of being a patient about to go under the knife is something I’d really not repeat again. Who knew that a really painful tummy ache that made me miss school for a day would develop into a potentially life threatening condition that made me miss my finals.

The most vivid memory from that experience would be me on the operating room table, talking to the anesthesiologist. Because the surgeon didn’t arrive yet, we engaged in small talk for a while. Him asking me about my course, me responding, then the next thing I know, I’m waking up a few hours later, groggy and in my room. The operation was done. I swear it was just like blinking. The first few words I heard was from my anesthesiologist, who told my mom that he had to give me medicine because my BP fell during the operation. Creepy really. But the thought of the whole “blink and it’s done” moment was slightly cool.

The next few days were painstakingly difficult for me. I had no concept on what time and day it was. I couldn’t eat, not that I felt the need to eat. Don’t even get me started on my elimination pattern.

Anyway, my tiny refrigerator was stocked with food I couldn’t eat. Mostly it came from Aunty Nitz’s bakeshop, the bakery that sells really tasty egg pie with a filling like the Macau egg tarts I love. There was no egg pie but there were plenty of individually sliced bread puddings. When my friends and classmates visited me, they were the ones who finished all of it in one sitting. Maybe they were milking my situation for all its worth but no, they care about me. I hope. (They care about me. They care about me. They care about me….)

So to remember the day that my diseased appendix was taken out…I made bread pudding.

And this isn’t like the Aunty Nitz variety, where it was one homogeneous mixture. I wanted to honor the humble pandesal (proudly local Filipino bread) by toasting it with butter first. Then mixing it with the custard mixture. This adds another layer of texture to the otherwise plain bread pudding. This is really simple and pandesal can be substituted for any bread that you fancy. What I really like about it is that it is not cloyingly sweet. So I’d enjoy it while I can.

I’d like to dedicate this post to to Jam (who also shared her lecture notes for my consumption), Riez, Jad, Camille, Juneth, Yana, Floyd and all my friends and classmates who remembered me while is was in it for the long haul. It wasn’t easy but here I am one year later, alive and well, blogging about it.

Pandesal Bread Pudding (makes 3 ramekins)
  • 3 large pan de sal
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar + more (to your liking) for the cinnamon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, or enough to butter the bread and grease the ramekins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more for the cinnamon sugar)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease three small ramekins with melted butter
  2. Using a bread knife, slice the pan de sal into half an inch slices. Brush both sides with butter and allow to toast in an over toaster for 2 – 3 minutes or until crunchy.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until fully incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Arrange the toasted bread slices on the ramekins. If pieces are too large, you may slice them in half.
  5. Pour the milk and egg mixture over bread slices and fill until halfway (or 3/4ths) full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (to make: just mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until the sugar takes on the cinnamon-y color well)
  6. Bake it in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.