Last weekend, Ethan's sister Jacque, her husband Aaron and their children were in town and we couldn't have been more delighted.
Jacque is the type of woman that rarely wears pants. It's always skirts or dresses. And that is usually paired with heels. She serves Sunday dinners on her best Bombay Company china and sips tea during her children's afternoon naps. She has read "Wuthering Heights" a bunch of times, collects antique books and always has fresh flowers in her home. Her husband seems like the polar opposite. He writes music for a children's TV show called "Yo Gabba Gabba". He could sit with his recording equipment and diddle with it all day. He has played gigs at The House of Blues on Sunset and likes to go surfing on the weekends. He goes skateboarding with his son and just deejayed Tony Hawk's daughter's birthday party. See? Opposites. But it works, completely works. They are completely in love and are raising some of the most beautiful, well-rounded children.
While they were in town, we stayed up too late, went to Bucca Di Beppo, went to Thanksgiving Point and let our kids run around without shirts on and Ethan made them this dessert. And they were happy. Like would move to Utah to be closer to Ethan so he could make this dessert. But how could you blame them? Croissants, semisweet chocolate, heavy cream and cinnamon. Just a few of the things that prove God has not abandoned us yet. Combine them for a buttery, chocolatey, gooey, wonderful paradise, a paradise you can eat.
8 regular-sized croissants, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups half and half
2 cups heavy cream
Set oven to 350 degrees. Pour croissants into a 9x13 inch pan and set aside.
In double boiler over simmering water, melt 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk until the eggs are light in color. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add half and half and heavy cream. Once mixture is steaming and slightly simmering, remove from heat. Whisk in melted chocolate. With a liquid measuring cup, pour out 2 cups of the cream mixture and slowly pour it into the eggs while whisking. Once incorporated, slowly pour in the rest of the cream mixture and whisk well.
Pour cream and egg mixture over the croissant pieces until the croissants are covered. You may not need the all of the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the liquid is set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Yields 8 servings.
Rookie's Notes: If you can remember to, let the croissant pieces sit out for a day or two. It just makes it better. Also, the bread pudding will rise a bit during baking. Don't be alarmed. If you are worried about it spilling over, place the baking dish on a cookie sheet.
I baked this batch in some big ramekins. Just divide the croissant pieces between some ramekins and pour in the cream and egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at the same temp.
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