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Brownie Points for Bread Pudding

This decadent, easy-to-make dessert is the creation of Anthony Bucco, executive chef at Stage Left and Catherine Lombardi, both in New Brunswick. I first tasted it last year at a benefit dinner at Catherine Lombardi. That night, the restaurant raised more than $36,000 for the Hunter Morris Fund, established on behalf of a New Jersey toddler with eosinophilic enteropathy, a rare digestive system disorder.

When I asked Bucco if I could use his recipe in the biweekly food column I write for The Princeton Packet, I had no idea it would become one of the most requested recipes in the column’s 14-year history. This is my slightly modified version, which results in a more brownie-like consistency. The dessert can be cut into squares or rectangles. I serve it with vanilla ice cream garnished with raspberries or strawberries, while Bucco pours on velvety hazelnut crème anglaise.

Chocolate, Espresso, and Hazelnut Bread Pudding

Chocolate, Espresso, and Hazelnut Bread Pudding

Chocolate, Espresso, and Hazelnut Bread Pudding

  • Butter, for pan
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 loaf brioche, crust removed and discarded, diced
  • 1/2 package ladyfingers or Savoiardi, torn into chunks
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • Vanilla ice cream or crème anglaise, for serving
  • Fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan, or use a nonstick pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, and espresso.
  4. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon, and whisk until well combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine brioche, ladyfingers, hazelnuts, and chocolate; add to egg mixture, and stir until combined.
  6. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature with ice cream.
  8. Serves 8.

Stage Left | 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | T: 732.828.4444 | F: 732.828.6228
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