Bread pudding is the elasticized waistband of the dessert world. Lacking the glamour of fashionably ripped jeans but with exactly the cozy comfort you want and need.
If that’s not a rousing-enough endorsement for you (though there could be no higher praise, I assure you), consider that this cheeky version contains butter-rich croissants instead of regular old bread. Their honeycombed airiness is exceptionally suited to sucking up loads of custard. Handfuls of tart raspberries and chocolate chips melt into gooey puddles throughout. It’s creamy, luxurious, and perfectly sweet, with enough bits and pieces throughout to keep every bite interesting.
Spring for croissants from your favorite bakery if you can, though grocery store croissants will do in a pinch. Weighing the croissants is the quickest way to ensure they’re in the right proportion to the custard. And while raspberries are lovely, sweet or sour cherries, blueberries, blackberries, or apricots could be swapped in easily (and frozen versions of all of these work fine as well).
I wouldn’t dare to suggest that because it’s bread and milk and fruit, it’s breakfast, exactly. But like stretchy pants, this croissant pudding is perfect anytime of day.
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- makes One 9-inch square pan
4 to 5
large plain croissants (about 250 grams)
(480 grams) heavy cream
1 1/2 cups
(350 grams) whole milk
(200 grams) granulated sugar
large egg yolks
fine sea salt
vanilla paste or extract
(170 grams) dark chocolate chips
(120 grams) raspberries, fresh or frozen
(45 grams) flaked almonds
- Cut the croissants into 1½-inch cubes (about the size of a walnut in the shell).
- Heat the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid just starts to simmer.
- Whisk the eggs, yolks, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture over the eggs, whisking fiercely to combine. Toss in the cubed croissants and mix with a spatula, until all of the croissant pieces are evenly coated and mostly submerged. Cover and set aside for 1 to 24 hours (refrigerate if it’ll be sitting for any longer than 2 hours).
- Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack positioned in the center.
- Just before baking, stir the chocolate chips and raspberries (if using frozen, no need to thaw) into the bread pudding mixture. Pour the whole lot into a 9-inch square pan (or any other dish with a 2-quart capacity). Scatter the flaked almonds on top and bake till the bread pudding is set, 50 to 60 minutes. The top of the bread pudding should be lightly puffed and dry to the touch, and the center should jiggle faintly when you shake the pan.
- Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or a dollop of Greek yogurt, though it’s perfectly delicious plain, in large spoonfuls straight from the pan.