This bread pudding is fantastic. There are chunks of chocolate in among the croissants, and when you eat it all together it tastes a lot like the French pastry, pain au chocolat. The Bailey’s cream sauce is entirely optional, of course, but it definitely takes the dessert to a whole different level. Just to give you an idea of how good it is, I sent half a pan of this with most of the cream sauce to a neighboring office when I was at work the other day…it was gone and the clean dishes returned to me in about 15 minutes. Try it this weekend, you will be so happy that you did!
CROISSANT AND CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING WITH BAILEY’S CREAM SAUCE
6 croissants, broken into 1 inch pieces
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks
6 large eggs
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Bailey’s Cream Sauce
½ cup sugar
1 stick of butter
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish, put the croissants in it, and then tuck the chocolate chunks in among the croissants. I found that I needed to layer some of the croissants and chocolate on top of each other, which made me need to increase my baking time a bit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, half-and-half, vanilla
extract, and salt until well combined. Pour the mixture over the croissants in the baking dish, pressing down on the croissants to submerge them if needed. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes so that the croissants can absorb some of the cream mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the cream sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, cream, and Bailey’s, and stir well to combine. Let it come to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Serve over the bread pudding.
Make sure you store both the bread pudding and the sauce in the refrigerator. Once the sauce is cold, you’ll need to whisk it together again to combine. I personally think that the bread pudding re-warmed with some of the cold sauce over it is divine. Enjoy!
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg