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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Croissant Bread Pudding with Strawberries & White Chocolate

Is it just me or did your heart skip a beat reading that title?! To be honest, bread pudding doesn’t usually excite me. Until you start talking about croissants, which changes the game entirely.


When I was in law school, I used to host a Holiday dinner or an Easter Brunch for friends who couldn’t be with their families during holidays. I liked hosting it because many generous friends had taken me in over various holidays during college (since I couldn’t afford to fly back to Hawaii) and I remember how good it felt to take part in another family for a holiday meal. On one such Easter Brunch, my friend, Claire, wowed the crowd with a chocolate croissant bread pudding.

Then, one night, I was lying in bed thinking about using up the contents of my fridge (this is kind of a menu planning ritual for me) when I remembered I had a couple of weary croissants moping about. I figured I might make a vanilla-based adaptation of that beloved chocolate croissant bread pudding.


Sometimes you just need a naughty treat. Or maybe you’re part of the sneaky folk who likes to bring the full-fat outrageously unhealthy crowd pleasers to potlucks so you can win best-in-show despite the fact that you may only have a bite or two. (I’ve been known to save up some of those recipes that I could never eat all by myself at home, so I wait for a willing group to try it out!)

INGREDIENTS:

* 3 croissants (preferably 1-2 days old), cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 Tbsp. butter
* 1 cup fat-free half and half (or half & half if you prefer)
* 3 oz. white chocolate (chopped or chips)
* 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract OR seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
* 1 egg
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen; other berries would be great too!)

DIRECTIONS:

* Heat oven to 350 degrees.
* Toast croissant cubes on an ungreased cookie sheet for 5-8 minutes or until lightly toasted. When cool, place cubes in an ungreased 8 x 8 pan or small casserole dish.
* In a saucepan on medium-high heat, bring the butter and half & half to a slow boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and whisk in the white chocolate and vanilla.
* Once melted, remove pan from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
* In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the egg. Slowly whisk this mixture into the half & half mixture.
* Gently mix the strawberries in with the croissant cubes.
* Pour custard mixture over the croissant and strawberries and place in refrigerator for up to 1 hour (to soak up all the goodness).
* Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until top is lightly toasted and custard has set (no longer too wet or jiggly).

You're going to love this. Yep.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merci d'avoir un blog interessant

Sara E Anderson said...

I have some croissants that are getting old and a lb of strawberries I need to use before leaving town tomorrow, so I googled for a recipe to use, and I'm going to do this. Thanks for sharing!

Sara E Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morgan Lee said...

Oh, I think you are going to love it!