Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Using croissants as the bread in bread pudding is even better than you might imagine: The chocolate custard seeps right in between the layers[ of flaky pastry. And croissants are almost all crust, always the best part of the bread pudding. The dessert is chocolatey, buttery, creamy and flaky all at once. I started doing this when I worked at a country house hotel in England, Stapleford Park Hotel, where we always had leftover baked croissants from breakfast. Cooking with stale bread or croissants is a handy and sensible quick-trick; I love to use it up instead of throw it away. Bread or croissants that are a couple of days old is more firm and absorbent than fresh, so it's always the choice for bread puddings that are moist without falling apart completely. The croissant-cream mixture can be refrigerated, covered, up to one day in advance. If so, add five to 10 minutes to the baking time.]

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
30 min
45 min

8 servings

  • 4 to 6 croissants, preferably 1 or 2 days old
  • 2 cups half-and- half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional

Cut the croissants into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 3 1/2 cups. Place the cubes in an ovenproof baking dish.

In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half, cream, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. When the cream mixture reaches a fast simmer (do not let it boil), turn off the heat. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot chocolate-cream mixture. Strain the mixture over the croissant pieces and toss lightly. Let sit while the mixture is absorbed, at least 15 minutes. As it soaks, fold the mixture a few times to ensure even soaking.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a roasting pan that's 2 inches deep and larger than the baking dish with paper towels. Fill the pan with very hot water and place the dish of bread pudding inside. Bake until set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on each serving.

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    BEST EVER!!!! I've made this astounding recipe several times & everyone raves about it . The first few times I used large eggs & it definitely made too much custard. If you use 6 MEDIUM eggs in a 9x13 pan & 7 croissants it's perfect.
    Delish!. Made it with mini croissants and probably used closer to 5 1/2 cups of them instead of the 3 1/2 based on many of the comments. And I would do so again. Plenty moist and it would have been too "wet" for me otherwise. And because it makes such a large pan, once it was cold in fridge I cut it into serving size portions and wrapped them in two to freeze. Thanks for allowing me to not "waste". Though my waist may not thank you.
    Tasted amazing. The liquid it calls for is way more than needed... I was able to almost make a double batch out of the liquids, so if you do make the whole thing, have extra croissants ready. Also, to make it look more chocolatey, I stirred in a handful of chocolate chunks and placed a few on the top (this way, there is no mistaking what it is. Had several people ask for the recipe.
    Flavors and Textures...terrific! Have had this pudding at Gale's restaurant. Simple and delicious. This recipe made the exact dish. Is a keeper! Annie , Fremont , CA
    I have never been a fan of bread pudding but this is AMAZING. I added more chocolate and less sugar and it came out perfect. 
    I will say that it doesn't look great though, and I'm not sure how to improve the presentation. I brought it to a potluck and someone thought it was a mushroom casserole! LOL
    this was one of the best bread puddings i have had very rich and perfect texture. i used 3 large croissants--cubed they measured about 4 and 1/2 cups. i used about 7 ounces of chocolate melted with the cream and another 1 or 2 ounces that i chopped and sprinkled on the croissants before pouring the custard over.
    this was baked in a 9x13 oval ceramic casserole. it was great!
    I really want to try this recipe, it sounds great. Can anyone tell me what size bakedish works best? She doesn't say in the recipe. I appreciate the help, I can't wait to try it!
    I made this for the first time and it is just amazing. You could cut the liquid if you wanted (it is quite custardy) but I loved it the way it was. Instead of folding the chopped chocolate into the custard, I tossed it with the croissants. This way there are intense bursts of chocolate throughout. YUM!
    I had small croissants which I didn't use for days so I decided to try this. I didn't think 4oz chocolate was enough so I added more. When it was baking I turned off the timer but forgot it in the oven. When I realized it I pulled it out thinking I would have to apologize to my guests. I don't think you can hurt this recipe. It was stunning, guests asked for my recipe and, of course, I was happy to share.

    It was even great cold the next a.m. for breakfast.
    way too much liquid, not pretty or tasty
    My husband who does not even like chocolate asked for 2nd's. This recipe was easy and scrumptious.
    It was easy to make and tasted great!!
    Delicious and easy. It will make 6-7 individual 4" ramikins.
    this is absolutely unbelievable!!! DELICIOUS!!!!
    I made this for my friends for Christmas dinner. I felt a little bad for other people who brought desserts (since nobody touched them). I used a really good bittersweet chocolate and didn't use a full cup of sugar.
    Very simple recipe. I made 1/2 the portion to test it out. I'm not normally a fan of bread puddings, but this one fresh out of the oven is surprisingly good. I'm waiting for it to chill in the fridge to see what that tastes like. Enjoy! I did.
    Absoslutely superb in every way - not for the diet conscious, obviously.
    There is no mention on how much you should whick the eggs. There is no mention as to the size of the pan you should put the pudding in.

    I was very disappointed in this recipe and the lack of instructions.
    I tried this for an open house just after thanksgiving and what a response I had! Although I had to substitute the bread, everyone who tried it, LOVED IT! I commanded (not just asked) by my family to make it again for Christmas. It's pretty easy and makes a good impression!
    I am such a sucker for bread puddings and this has got to be one of the best. I had it right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream as recomended but I prefer it cold w/out the ice cream. I prefer ice cream on cobblers and warm apple pie. Anyway, it was easy and very tasty. But next time I will only use 4 eggs instead of 6. I also only used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1. Highly recommended fot the bread pudding fanatic.
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