So I’ve been craving hot chocolate a lot lately. Maybe it’s the holiday season. Maybe it’s from watching so much Once Upon a Time (why do they drink hot chocolate in every episode?), but whatever the case is. I thought I would harness this craving into a bread pudding. What is more seasonally trendy atm than peppermint hot chocolate. So here you have it:
Full disclosure, I am not sponsored by Ghirardelli. I was actually going to use Hershey’s Mint Fudge Bells, until I couldn’t find them at the store I went to, and didn’t want to go to another store. I figured the Ghirardelli squares would probably be an upgrade. Lindt also makes a peppermint chocolate truffle around this time of year. If you can’t find any of these, I think you can find something similar.
For the sauce, I used Hood Golden Eggnog. Unfortunately, once it was thickened. the yellow color became more intense. If I had to make it again, I would not use golden eggnog. I found the color off-putting. Here’s an article if you want to know Huffington Post writer’s hierarchy of eggnogs. Maybe one of those will be better and less yellow?
Peppermint Hot Cocoa Bread Pudding
10 squares Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Brownie Squares (2/3 Bag)
2 Tbsp butter
1 c skim milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp instant espresso
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c sugar
1 c half-and-half, divided
1/3 loaf Challah bread
1 cup eggnog, divided (I used Hood Golden Eggnog, see above)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Heat the Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Brownie Squares and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Gradually add milk to saucepan as the chocolate melts. Stir.
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, espresso, vanilla extract, and salt to saucepan. Stir well.
- Keep over medium-low heat, stirring often, until milk starts to steam.
- Once milk steams keep on heat, stirring for one minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in sugar
- Cut the bread into 1/2-inch slices, and broil on low for about a minute on each side. Just until light golden.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup half-and-half together.
- Stir the other 1/2 cup half-and-half into chocolate mixture.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk well.
- Cut or tear bread slices into 1-inch squares. Add to egg mixture and stir.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Add bread pudding mixture to a 2.5-quart casserole dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until set.
- Once finished, cool on rack for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold with sauce.
- Heat 3/4 cup eggnog in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir together remaining 1/4 cup eggnog with 1 Tbsp cornstarch.
- Once eggnog starts to steam, slowly add cornstarch mixture while stirring.
- Cook and stir for one more minute.
- Remove from heat and serve warm over bread pudding.