Call me boring and unadventurous (though I’d much prefer somewhere along the lines of safe), but I am the sort who finds a great recipe, and sticks by it. In itself it might sound contradictory given that I’m a food blogger, and the very essence of a food blog pivots on the testing and sharing of a plethora of recipes. Well in case you’ve lost me, what I am more specifically referring to is the fact that I have my chosen repertoire of turn-to recipes I’ve been using as bases, or point of reference, for certain bakes. The way I see it, if a said recipe is tried and tested over countless of times, and have proven its worth amongst differing palates, it must surely has earned itself a spot for tweaking and variations.
A favourite base recipe I’ve used countless of times in experimenting new flavours and combinations has to be the much-loved and understated fudgy cocoa brownies, which has lent itself to some yummy peanut butter blondies, and snickerdoodle blondies, just to name a few. Then there is my most oft-used base muffin recipe, which I can never seem to get tired of, and have made variations with other ingredients such as different chips (butterscotch yum!), fruits (strawberries, blueberries) and spreads (Nutella, jam, peanut butter). Hence it would only seem natural that when I was craving for bread pudding the other morning, I turned to my favourite Nutella chocolate bread pudding recipe for a little tweaking.
I must have made the aforementioned Nutella bread pudding too many a time that when I told my parents there was bread pudding on the table, my mother replied with a “Nutella again?”. Fortunately though, that initial hint of dissent and somewhat disappointment (let’s just put it on record that my mom’s not as big a Nutella / chocolate fan as I am), turned into a resounding, “What was that you made? It’s different from your usual one!”. And as I found out, the secret lies in the wholemeal bread. Its grainy texture provided a nutty flavour that perfectly complemented the melted chocolate chips permeating through each crevice, allowing the bread pudding to stand deliciously on its own, unadorned.
So what about the vanilla sauce? Let’s just say that was sheer indulgence on my part, and truth be told I ended up eating the homely bread pudding for breakfast, and spoonfuls of the vanilla sauce thereafter for dessert. And thanks to that, plans of using the leftovers for profiteroles came to naught. But all for a good
Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce
For bread pudding:
8 – 10 slices day-old wholemeal bread, cubed or torn into chunks
1 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1⁄4 cup mini chocolate chips
For vanilla sauce:
2 – 4 tablespoons sugar (depending on your preference)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For bread pudding: Preheat oven to 170°C. Place half of the bread pieces in a casserole dish to form one layer, and sprinkle half of the chocolate chips on the surface.
In a bowl, whisk egg, soy milk and sugar. Pour half of the milk mixture onto the bread pieces, then place the remaining bread pieces on top, as a second layer.
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on the surface, then pour the remaining milk mixture. Leave aside for about 5–10 minutes, for it to be fully absorbed.
Bake for 20-30 minutes. Leave to cool for about 5-10minutes. Serve with warm vanilla sauce.
For vanilla sauce: Combine all of the ingredients, except the vanilla essence, in a saucepan over low heat, whisking constantly
until the mixture thickens, and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, and serve alongside bread pudding.