I created this delicious bread pudding for anyone that loves decadent casseroles starring buttery bread and rich, dark chocolate. It is the perfect recipe for a Mother's Day brunch.
Technique tip: Make sure to allow a full hour for the croissants to absorb the cream and eggs, as this will help create a lusciously moist (without being wet) bread pudding.
Swap option: To serve individual bread puddings to guests divide the croissant pieces into twelve 10-ounce ramekins and divide other fillings and sprinkle among ramekins the same way the whole baking dish was assembled. Place the ramekins in a baking pan with water halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until set.
Slice the croissants in half horizontally, separating the top and bottom halves. Cut the bottom halves into 1-inch pieces, and leave tops whole.2.
Place the croissant cubes on the bottom of a greased 9- by 13-inch (3-quart) baking dish. Sprinkle with half each of the chocolate chunks and pecans. Place the croissant tops, crust side up, over the layer of croissant cubes (overlapping slightly, if needed), and top with the remaining chocolate chunks and pecan pieces.3.
Whisk together the granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl until pale yellow. Whisk in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. Pour the mixture over the croissants; cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.4.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Discard the plastic wrap from the baking dish; place the dish in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until halfway up the sides of the baking dish.5.
Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding evenly with the turbinado sugar. Bake until golden brown and set in the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; serve warm.