Mocha Cinnamon Bread Pudding
So, I was totally late to the world of bread pudding, it just wasn’t something my family made when I was growing up. However, I do remember the first time I tried it. I was working at a hotel in Downtown Fort Worth and it was around the holidays. The hotel was serving a special lunch for all the employees, and there on the dessert table was this pan of what looked like soggy bread that everyone kept going on and on about. Well, I decided to give it a try, and I have been a fan ever since.
Bread pudding is serious dessert comfort food. It’s just cozy and warm and makes you want to curl up somewhere with a blanket while you eat. There are two kinds of bread pudding. The less soggy one that can be eaten with a fork and is kind of fluffy and the really soggy one that you definitely need a spoon for. Both are delicious and almost limitless in flavors and what you can add to it. You can even trade the dessert kind for a more savory flavor and use cheeses, meats, and herbs. For this recipe I decided to go for chocolate and coffee since who wouldn’t want chocolate in the ultimate comfort dessert.
Prepare your bread
The best kind of bread for this is day old or stale bread, preferably a heartier kind like challah. I’ve used a bunch of different kinds and they usually work. Try the discount section at your store’s bakery area, you know where they have random baked goods with half-off stickers and signs about how they baked too much. For this recipe I found some day-old croissants that worked perfectly.
To start, go ahead and cut up about four large croissants into one-inch pieces and set aside to dry out a bit if they still feel soft. You want your bread dry and stale so it soaks up more of the custard that you’re about to make. You could also toast the croissant pieces in a 350 degree oven for three to five minutes to speed up the process. They should feel dry but not toasted.
Make the Chocolate Custard
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt then set aside. In a medium sauce pan heat up the half and half until you start to see steam and bubbles around the edges. Remove from heat and add chocolate, let sit for a minute then whisk until smooth and stir in mocha powder.
Let the chocolate mixture cool to almost room temperature before stirring into the egg and sugar mixture. Pour the custard over the croissants and toss to coat.
Get ready to bake!
Let the mixture sit for about five minutes to soak everything up. Then transfer to a six cup baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until set but the center jiggles just a little. Bread pudding is best eaten still warm.