Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding & Breaking The Rules

Well, it is my own personal rule so I guess I can break it if I want to, right?

I am referring to my rule about not posting two dessert recipes in a row.  I like variety when I am in the kitchen and since baking and sweets only accounts for 50% of what I make, it would not be very representative of my…well…pantry 😉 if sugar and breads were all I posted about.  I love to cook as much as I love to bake and since we eat three meals a day that have nothing to do with dessert, real meals are more useful to us all.  This post obviously breaks that rule but I have a good excuse!  I had planned on posting a new recipe that I have been working on for beef teriyaki with peppers and noodles.  Actually, I had planned on posting that recipe several days ago, but the dish needed some tweaking.  Well, I messed with it again last night and unfortunately it was a major backwards step!  So now I am super frustrated and I have no teriyaki recipe for you.  To make up for it, I am posting this recipe for Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding.  And WOW!  What a recipe it is!Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. As in bread pudding made with chocolate and croissants.  Yup. Its good. {Brittany's Pantry} Pictures don’t do this dish justice, so this is the only one I am going to post.  But rest assured, it tastes spectacular.  Unlike traditional bread puddings, this is made with croissants instead of bread, a stroke of genius that I wish I had thought of.  I don’t feel too bad about this though as the recipe is from one of this countries premiere pastry chefs, Gale Gand.  True to form, this recipe is simple with classic ingredients and minimal steps.  You can make it the night before and bake it the next day, making it a great choice for all the holiday company that may be in your near future.  I have actually been wanting to make this dessert for literally, the last ten years.  When I passed the bakery section at my local grocery store this week, they had a huge package of croissants on the leftover stale bread shelf.  Perfect.  There were so many, I froze half of them to make bread pudding in the future.  Like, next week.

Quick Disclaimer:  Due to the holiday season that is now upon us, I can pretty much guarantee that I will be breaking my ‘rule’ many times in the near future.  You don’t mind do you?

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
If possible, use croissants that are a day or two old.  Dry bread will absorb even more of the custard.  Yum!

5 croissants, the regular size, not the mini ones, cut into one inch cubes
3 c cream
1 c milk
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
pinch of salt
6 eggs
1 c sugar

Put the cubed bread into a medium sized baking dish and set it aside.  In a large sauce pan, heat the cream and milk until it is hot and just starts to steam. Do NOT let it boil!  Remove it from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until it its melted and the mixture is smooth.  While that cools slightly, whisk the eggs and sugar and salt together in a separate bowl until smooth.  While continuing to whisk, slowly pour the hot milk and chocolate mixture into the eggs, being sure to keep whisking to keep the eggs from cooking.  When it is all combined, slowly pour over the bread.  Carefully press the bread cubes down to make sure that it is all submerged and soaking up the chocolate custard.  Let sit for about 15 minutes to let it continue to soak, gently moving the mixture if needed to make sure everything is even.  *Can be made up to this point one day ahead.  Just cover and chill.

Bake in a water bath (see below) at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until the center is set and cooked.  Remove from water bath and cool a bit before serving.  This is wonderful slightly warm with a scoop of ice cream.  Also wonderful for breakfast!

Note: A water bath is simply when a delicate dish (usually a custard containing eggs) needs to be cooked evenly and gently.  The cooking vessel, in this case a casserole or baking dish, is placed in a larger dish or baking pan and hot water is poured around it until it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish.  This distributes heat more evenly around the food, allowing it to cook gently.  All I did for this recipe was take a large 9X13 ceramic dish that my baking dish fit easily in the bottom of.  I do recommend, from experience, that you place the baking dish in the bigger dish, put the whole thing in the oven and then carefully pour in the hot water, filling it up till it comes halfway up the side of the dish.  Carrying two dishes, one filled with food sitting in a pan filled with water and trying to get it all in the oven just invites disaster.  Just BE CAREFUL!  The water is hot and dishes are heavy!  It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t!  Good luck!