There are two schools when comes to bread pudding – the people who like it wet and those who like it just moist enough to give the ensemble an almost cake-like texture. I personally fall in the later. It’s what I strive for in bread pudding—a custard base dessert that is held together with just enough binder to give it a silky center while leaving me with a crispy top for textural contrast.
Boom. Nailed it with chocolate croissant bread pudding. It was exactly the bit of self-indulgence I needed after a few weeks of crazy.
Between multiple birthdays, a wedding anniversary, Little League playoffs, and a sick kid (6 days of no school) I just wanted to whine and complain–so I did. In between that I spooned my way through bites of this bread pudding for 3-square meals a day and traded in traditional wet shampoo for dry shampoo because who has time to do “normal” with all the planning, celebrating, carpooling and rotating out barf bowls.
On a side note . . . I realize I’m so late to the magic of dry shampoo, but OMG nothing beats washing 3-day-old hair in the school parking lot before your kid’s music performance. True story of shameless self-maintenance.
But let’s get back to the food because if you make this there’s one secret ingredient that takes this from good to great: almond paste (not to be mixed up with marzipan). It adds a huge punch of flavor. So go out and get it—don’t skip it. It’s also the magic to a few of the recipes featured in my book rolling out Sept. 2017, so naturally just make it a staple in your pantry.
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Yield: Serves 8-10
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 7 oz. almond paste
- 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 8-10 (1lb. total) chocolate croissants, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preparation: Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9x13 inch pan or two 8-inch round pans.
Place sugar, almond paste and butter in a blender or food processor and pulse until blended. Add in egg yolks, eggs, milk, cream, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon and instant espresso; pulse to blend.
Place croissant pieces into preferred pan(s) and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Pour custard on top. Gently press down on croissant pieces to ensure even absorption.
Bake until set but still soft and a knife inserted at the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar prior to serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.