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Creme Brulee Bread Pudding

This morning, I had a craving for crème brulee and bread pudding.  …good bread pudding.  I must admit that I don’t know what exactly makes a bread pudding a good bread pudding. I don’t like a dense, soggy block of bread.  I prefer a more custard like consistency, rich with vanilla bean.  Mmmm…  pieces of buttery croissant soaked in that warm creamy vanilla bean custard, with the tops toasty and crispy.

Creme_Brulee_Bread_Pudding_Recipe_Ingredients

The best bread pudding I have ever had was at Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego.  It was phenomenal.  I swear each bite coaxed my eyes closed, so all my senses could focus on the taste and texture of the bread pudding.  The delicate buttery croissants just melt in your mouth.

Warning: while preparing your bread pudding, slice up an extra croissant, you won’t be able to resist sneaking a bite…or ten, you don’t want to fall short when you need it!

Creme_Brulee_Bread_Pudding_Croissants

Karen Krasne shares her Extraordinary Dessert’s Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe in her new cookbook, Extraordinary Cakes.  So with this light of inspiration beaming from my kitchen counter, I set out to experiment with the different ways to bake bread pudding, and make this recipe my own.  AND to satisfy those pregnant-woman-like cravings for crème brulee and bread pudding!

Creme_Brulee_Bread_Pudding_RamekinsFrom this experimenting, I created a crème brulee bread pudding recipe.  I used Krasne’s custard recipe from her chocolate bread pudding recipe, but baked it in a water bath for just 15 minutes so it would have a custard consistency.

Creme_Brulee_Bread-Pudding_Custard

After baking these darling little bread puddings, sprinkle some vanilla sugar over the top and brulee it to delicious, indulgent, crème brulee bread pudding perfection. Try this recipe, your friends will be impressed, I promise.  Need this crème brulee bread pudding to satisfy a chocolate craving?  Sprinkle some bittersweet chocolate chips in with the pieces of croissant to create a decadent chocolate crème brulee bread pudding.

Creme_Brulee_Bread_Pudding_Brulee

Serve this delicious crème brulee bread pudding warm with fresh raspberries.  Oh! Maybe even some white chocolate ice-cream! This recipe is worth every calorie, and is extremely simple and easy to do.  It is satisfying on so many levels, it’s creamy and rich, the croissants add buttery bites that are delightful to bit into, and the crispy, sugary crust creates a delectable accent crunch. Perfection!

I might cancel my morning yoga class and have one of these for breakfast tomorrow…  totally worth it…

Yoga? …Crème brulee bread pudding.  Yoga?  …Crème brulee bread pudding…

No contest.  Creme brulee bread pudding

Creme Brulee Bread Pudding Recipe

2 cups Heavy Cream
½ cup Whole Milk
3 Egg Yolks
½ cup Sugar
1 Vanilla Bean
3 Croissants

½ cup Vanilla Sugar (for the crust)

To make the vanilla sugar:
Place a vanilla bean husk in a container of sugar.  This isn’t a necessary step, but I feel like it adds a little something extra.

In a medium sauce pan, combine cream and milk.  Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape the beans using the back of a knife.  Add the beans and the husk to cream.  Steep the cream and vanilla beans over low-medium heat for 10 minutes.  The cream should almost reach the point of boiling, but don’t bring it to a boil.

While your cream is warming, slice your croissants into ½ inch pieces and place tightly in ramekins and set aside.  Then , in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until the sugar dissolves.

While whisking continuously, slowly pour a small portion of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  Make sure you are whisking! You don’t want scrambled eggs! Slowly add the rest of the cream while still whisking the egg mixture to temper the egg mixture.  Strain this custard into something that you can easily pour with.

Pour the custard slowly over the croissants you’ve placed in the ramekins. A lesson I learned while doing this, don’t skimp on the custard.  Make sure the croissants are completely covered with the custard, this way you don’t have too much croissant hanging out naked, this will burn while you torch the crust. Let them rest for 10 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.  Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish, and carefully fill the baking dish with water so that it reaches half way up the ramekins.  Bake these little lovelies for 10 to 15 minutes, so that the custard is nice and hot but still creamy.  Remove From the water bath.  Your crème brulee bread pudding babies are almost there!

Sprinkle a thin coat of the vanilla sugar over the top, and carefully run the kitchen torch over the top of your bread pudding, creating a golden brown, crispy crust.  Be careful, as you can see in my picture, I had a hard time not burning the tops of some of my croissants.

This recipe is so easy, and I usually have all of the ingredients hanging out in my fridge and freezer, so I can easily throw this together for a last minute dessert.  This delicious crème brulee bread pudding has become a favorite among my friends.

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