This all started with an episode of Unique Sweets on the Cooking Channel which featured bread pudding made with chocolate croissants. I enjoy Unique Sweets although the descriptions of the desserts are sometimes a bit over-the-top. The bread pudding struck a chord with me, I must admit.
Then I went into the local bakery and found three-day old chocolate croissants sitting all alone in the display case. I could not resist. I bought them home and got busy turning them into bread pudding. I started by cubing the croissants and letting them sit in a bowl uncovered for a couple of hours. You want the croissants dry so they absorb the custard and the whole thing doesn't become too dense.
I gathered the rest of the ingredients for the custard, half and half, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
First add the sugar to a mixing bowl. I like the Baker's sugar for the fine granules.
Then add the eggs. I only break store-bought eggs into a small bowl first. I collect eggs from my own chickens and I know they are fresh. And while we are on the subject of eggs, will someone please tell the Pioneer Woman that eggs do not contain "impurities" that should be removed by "straining through a fine sieve?" I assume she is talking about the chalazae which are neither imperfections nor beginning embryos. They are proteins that hold the yolk in place. The more prominent the chalazae, the fresher the egg. If you want a really smooth custard, by all means, strain away. I strain ice cream base but not custard for bread pudding.
Add the vanilla. I just eyeball it. Bread pudding is not rocket science. Thank goodness.
Now grab a whisk and beat the heck out of it.
Add the half and half and the melted butter and whisk again.
If you are The Pioneer Woman or a "strainer" now would be the time. For the rest of us, just pour the custard over the cubed croissants.
Gently fold the custard into the bread to avoid breaking it up too much.
Generously butter am 8 x 8 inch pan or individual ramekins. I used two ramekins and a small casserole dish.
Use a knife to chop an ounce of baking chocolate.
Sprinkle the chopped chocolate in the bottom of the pan.
Spoon the bread pudding mixture into the pan. Leave a little room at the top as these puff way up before settling back down. Bake until the custard is set.
Remove from the oven and try to let them cool down before eating. This is a good time to make the whiskey sauce.
Serve warm, room temperature or cold. You can enjoy this bread pudding plain, straight from the oven, unadorned.
Or, you can dress it up in a moat of whiskey sauce and dark chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
- 8"x8" baking pan
- Sheet pan for water bath
- 3 large chocolate croissants day old preferred
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup half and half
- 2 TBS melted butter
- 1 ounce baking chocolate chopped
- Cube croissants into 1 ½ inch pieces and allow to set out for a couple of hours.
- Whisk together egg, half and half, sugar, vanilla and melted butter. Add the half and half and whisk again. Set aside.
- Generously butter a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped chocolate in the bottom.
- Place croissants in a buttered 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Pour custard mixture over and push down so the croissants absorb the custard. Let sit 10 minutes, then press again.
- Place in a water bath, loosely cover with foil. ( I placed mine on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven then poured in water to come halfway up sides of cookie sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes covered, then uncover and bake an extra 15 minutes or until the custard is set. This will depend on your choice of baking dish.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.