August 30, 2018

Nutella Babka Bread Pudding

Recipe: Anthony Rose & Chris Johns

Try this Nutella Babka Bread Pudding recipe from the cookbook The Last Schmaltz.

I stand with Elaine Benes (you know, Elaine from Seinfeld) on the great babka debate. Cinnamon babka is a lesser babka than chocolate babka. By a longshot. In this recipe, the sourness of the labneh and the sweetness of the maple syrup, combined with the crunch of the hazelnuts and the savoriness of the halvah, make for a mouth full of joy. It’s also pretty cool to bring cuisines together like this. Maple syrup of Ontario, challah from my childhood, labneh and halvah from the Homeland. Yeah, pretty cool.


  • 1/2 loaf challah, store-bought
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 1 cup labneh or pressed plain Greek yogurt, for serving
  • 1/4 cup toasted, crushed hazelnuts, for serving
  • 1 small piece halvah, grated, for serving
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, for serving


  • 2 cups heavy cream (35%)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, well packed
  • 5 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread


Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  1. The night before you’d like to serve this, preheat the oven to 350°F and cut the challah into small cubes. Toast the challah on a baking sheet in the preheated oven until mostly dried throughout, about 20 minutes. If the bread is still quite soft, it won’t absorb nearly as much of the custard.
  2. For the custard, in a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, eggs, vanilla, salt, brown and white sugars, and Nutella. Using a hand mixer, blend the custard ingredients. Add the challah croutons to the bowl to soak in the custard overnight in the fridge.
  3. The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F, grease a loaf pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper, and boil a kettle of water.
  4. Transfer your bread pudding to the loaf pan, cover it with more parchment paper, and wrap with aluminum foil. Put the loaf pan in a larger casserole dish, then slowly pour the boiled water into the casserole dish until it comes about 1 inch up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Once the loaf is just cool enough to handle, remove it from the pan and cut it into thick slices.
  6. If you’re serving this later, you can reheat it in the oven until it’s just toasted and hot throughout. To serve, top with labneh, toasted hazelnuts, grated halvah, and maple syrup.

Excerpted from The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook by Anthony Rose and Chris Johns. Copyright © 2018 Anthony Rose and Chris Johns. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved