This nutty, chocolatey version of a classic is a deliciously rich pudding that is a great way of using up bread that is slightly past its best. The sourdough balances beautifully with the sweetness of the chocolate and hazelnuts, and also soaks up the crème anglaise very well. It’s a great pudding when you’re cooking for groups of people and doesn’t take long to put together. Delicious served with some pouring cream or vanilla ice cream to melt into the hot pudding, or some fresh berries.
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Place your slices of sourdough along the bottom of a baking dish, approximately 16 x 25cm in size. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips, and place another layer of sourdough on top. Repeat this process until you reach the top. Finish with a sprinkling of hazelnuts.
Make the crème anglaise. In a small pan heat the cream with the chocolate spread and vanilla to just under the boil, stirring to combine. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, until they turn a pale yellow. Pour half of the cream over the egg and sugar mix and incorporate using a balloon whisk, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture back into the pan over the heat with the rest of the cream. Stir gently with the whisk over a low-medium heat until the mixture reaches a temperature of between 70 and 80°C, and the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Keep whisking to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t let it get too hot or the eggs will curdle. If you find the whisk can’t reach the corners of the pan, you can use a wooden spoon.
Remove the pan from the heat, and leave to cool in a bowl of ice-cold water to prevent the custard from over-cooking. Strain it through a sieve if there are any lumps to achieve a smooth texture.
Pour most of the custard over the sourdough and leave it to soak for 20 minutes – this gives the bread time to absorb as much of the custard as possible. Top up with the remaining custard. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard has cooked through and the pudding has more or less set. Let the pudding sit for up to 10 minutes before slicing, leaving it to settle before serving.