The chocolate bread pudding I usually make is an old favorite, clipped from the local paper years back. I’ve since adapted it a time or two. This latest variation is inspired by something ultra-delicious I enjoyed at Matunuck Oyster Bar this summer. Just out of the oven, it’s crisp on top and delightfully light and custardy beneath, with a bit of bourbon in the mix to make it extra nice-nice.
This may be my new favorite spin on bread pudding. Will it be yours?
CHOCOLATE RIBBON WHISKY BREAD PUDDING
half pound of croissants cut into 1-inch pieces (conveniently, Stop & Shop sells mini croissants in a half-pound package–how did they know?)
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup (½ stick) of butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons Maker’s Mark bourbon
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (I use Valrhona Guanaja 70% dark chocolate feves)
cinnamon to sprinkle over the top–along with 1-2 teaspoons of granulated sugar (I used ground Sugar in the Raw)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8 x 8″ baking dish and fill with half the cubed croissants. Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly over this layer. Then top with remaining croissants.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, bourbon and vanilla.
Separately, warm the cream, milk and butter till the butter melts. I use the microwave on the defrost setting, but you can use a pan on the stove, if you prefer.
While whisking the egg/sugar/bourbon mixture, slowly add the warmed cream/milk/butter. Pour this combination over the croissants. Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. Granulated is fine, I just happen to buzz Sugar in the Raw in the food processor for making chocolate chip cookies, so I have a whole box on hand.
Place your 8 x 8″ pan into a larger (9 x 13″) pan filled with an inch or so of hot water. The water should come no higher than two thirds of the way up the side of the pudding pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge of the pan comes out clean.
I serve this dish warm (it reheats beautifully in the microwave), but you can serve it cold as well. It’s perfect for dessert and even breakfast! NOM!