Praline bread pudding with bitter chocolate sorbet

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

If you love Nutella or praline-filled shell chocolates, this bread and butter-style pud is the thing for you. Shards of bitter chocolate and bitter chocolate sorbet keep it from being cloyingly sweet.

  • 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 100 gm raw caster sugar
  • 12 thick slices soft white bread
  • 80 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
  • For dusting: demerara sugar and icing sugar
  •  
  • Bitter chocolate sorbet
  • 200 ml milk
  • 200 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved
  • 120 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 120 gm raw caster sugar
  • 60 gm liquid glucose
  •  
  • Praline mousse
  • 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • 200 gm roasted hazelnuts
  • 50 ml hazelnut oil or sweet almond oil
  • 80 gm each milk chocolate and dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 60 ml hazelnut liqueur
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) pouring cream
01   For bitter chocolate sorbet, stir ingredients and 400ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until melted and smooth, then bring to the boil. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill. Churn in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required. Makes about 1 litre.
02   For praline mousse, stir sugar and 50ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook, without stirring but brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush if sugar crystals start to form, until dark caramel (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add hazelnuts and stir quickly to combine, then tip out onto an oiled baking tray and set aside until it sets hard (30-40 minutes). Break into shards, then process two-thirds of the praline in a food processor with oil until a paste forms (reserve remaining praline to serve; store in an airtight container). Combine praline paste in a bowl with chocolate. Bring liqueur and half the cream to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then pour into chocolate mixture and stir until smooth and combined. Whisk remaining cream in a separate bowl to soft peaks, fold into praline mixture and refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours; this can be done 2-3 days ahead).
03   Preheat oven to 150C. Bring cream, milk and vanilla to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks, egg and sugar in a bowl to combine, pour cream mixture over, whisk to combine and set aside.
04   Spread half the bread slices with a little praline mousse, then sandwich with remaining slices of bread. Cut into triangles, then layer in a 2-litre ovenproof dish, scattering with bitter chocolate as you go. Pour cream mixture over bread, allow to soak for 15 minutes, then scatter some of the praline shards over and a little demerara sugar and bake until golden and set (45-50 minutes). Stand for 15 minutes, then dust with icing sugar and serve warm with chocolate sorbet and extra praline shards.
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