Recipe from guest chef Isabel Cruz
St. Germain's Bistro & Café
1010 S. Coast Hwy .101
St. Germain’s Bistro & Café is extending February’s Lady Chef series with guest chef Isabel Cruz through March 10th, adding a selection of new dishes to the dinner menu. Also at the bistro from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, Cruz will sign copies of Isabel's Cantina: Bold Latin Flavors from the New California Kitchen, named one of the “25 Most Notable Cookbooks” by The New York Times Book Review (2008). Happy-hour drink prices will be available all night.
Warm and delicious, bread pudding is always a treat, even more so when it’s made with flaky croissants and cinnamony Mexican chocolate like chef Isabel Cruz’s version. Plan on serving this dish warm from the oven, if possible.
Croissant Bread Pudding with Mexican Chocolate and Almonds
Butter, for the pan
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
4-6 croissants, enough to fill a 9-inch pie plate, split in half
Mexican chocolate (recipe follows)
1 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
- Combine the eggs, half-and-half, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk and combine.
- Press the sliced croissants into the egg mixture and soak for three minutes, turning once or twice. They should absorb the egg mixture but not to the point of falling apart.
- Fit the bottom half of each croissant into the buttered pie plate, sliced side down.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of the Mexican chocolate over the croissants and then 1/2 cup of the almonds.
- Layer the remaining halves of the croissants, sliced side down, on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Mexican chocolate and the remaining 1/2 cup almonds over the top.
- Bake the bread pudding approximately 45 to 60 minutes until it is puffy and dry on top but still moist inside.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. The bread pudding can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Combine the chocolate chips, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.