Boozy Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding

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It seems that for most of us, at some point in life {usually in our high school / college years} our mugs of hot chocolate inevitably get replaced with hot beverages like black coffee, americanos, and latte’s as a direct result of our struggle to stay awake during our adolescent juggling act between school, part-time jobs, studying, and struggling to keep up with friends & family. At least, such was the case for me.

But despite my intense love for glorious, wondrous,  caffeine – No matter how old I get, I never get sick of a good old fashioned mug of warm, rich, homemade hot chocolate. In fact, given the opportunity, nowadays I will gladly choose a mug of hot chocolate over a steaming cup of joe any day. Do you feel the same way?

There is just something so comforting and amazing about cradling a mug of hot chocolate, wouldn’t you agree? I think the reason why hot chocolate holds such a special place in many of our hearts is because drinking hot chocolate is associated with childhood – you know the days long before we were introduced to the many wonders of caffeine.

Whenever I make myself a mug of hot chocolate I can’t help but be reminded of  the days when my mom would head up a big pot of homemade hot chocolate for my brothers and I after a chilly fall afternoon of jumping in leaf piles or after a snowy afternoon spent throwing snowballs and building snowmen. My mom would peel us out of our cold wet clothes, throw everything in the dryer, wrap us up in warm blankets on the couch and we would wait patiently with rosy cheeks and noses while she poured us each a nice big mug of her homemade chocolate.

There really was nothing better than holding those giant warm mugs in our cold hands and gulping down that chocolatey goodness to warm us up from the inside out.  Of course, our hot chocolates were always topped off with either a healthy dollop of whipped cream or a mound of mini marshmallows, because… well what the hell would hot chocolate be without whipped cream or marshmallows???

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To this day, I am a firm believer that no mug of hot chocolate is complete without whipped cream of marshmallows. Now because I am now an adult, sometimes I feel the need to make this childhood beverage a little more grown up. How to you make hot chocolate more grown up you ask? Well you add booze of course 😀 lol. Nothing crazy, but I’ll admit that a nice little hit of Baileys in my hot cocoa is definitely a nice addition on a cold winter’s eve or a lazy Sunday morning. Agreed?

Interesting fact – Cole is a hot chocolate only kind of guy. That’s right – believe it or not, the boy doesn’t drink coffee. So my hot chocolate loving man, in combination with my love for boozy adult hot chocolates was definitely the inspiration behind this Boozy Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding.

​I have to admit that Cole and I definitely ate this as our breakfast last Saturday morning….. no judgement please. Personally I think that because this bread pudding is made out of croissants – a traditional breakfast food – there is no reason at all to frown upon this rich, chocolatey, pudding for breakfast at all. No sirree! Not to mention it was probably one of the most amazing breakfasts I have had in a long time, so I have zero regrets. ​

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The recipe below was adapted from the wonderful Aimee Borque’s “Chocolate Bread Pudding”, from her recipe book Brown Eggs & Jam Jars – aka, my favourite recipe book ever. Do you have this one? If not, I highly recommend putting that one on your Christmas wishlist 😉

I tweaked her already delicious recipe to include some hot chocolate mix, a touch of cinnamon, some espresso just to enhance the flavour of the chocolate, and of course a little dash of Bailey’s Irish Cream to finish everything off and hot damn was this Hot Chocolate bread Pudding good! So rich, moist, chocolatey and decadent – just the most perfect bread pudding.

So here is my adaptation lovelies and I hope you enjoy!

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Makes: 4 Mini Bread Puddings or 1 loaf pan

Ingredients
2 cups whole milk
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp baileys Irish Cream
2 tbsp hot chocolate mix
1 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 day-old croissants (I used store bought)

2 tbsp granulated sugar {for topping}
1 cup Mini Marshmallows (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter 4 medium size individual ramekins or a single standard loaf pan {depending on how you would like to serve your bread pudding}. 

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm your milk to a bare simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until smooth. Next, whisk in hot chocolate mix, and espresso powder. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, baileys, vanilla and cinnamon until pale and thick. Add bout 1/2 cup of the warm chocolate milk mixture so as to temper the egg yolks. Add another 1/2 cup of the warm chocolate mixture; stir to combine. Now add the remaining chocolate milk and mix to completely combine. Set aside.

Next, slice your 6 croissants in half lengthwise {as if making a sandwich}. Next cut each croissant half into 3 – so each croissant will give you 6 pieces. Place croissant chunks into your chocolate custard mix and gently toss to evenly coat everything; allow to sit for 10 minutes to soak.

Once you croissants have marinated for 10 minutes, gently remove from the bowl and place in prepared baking dish(es). Pour any remaining custard over top {don’t waste any of that chocolate goodness :D} Sprinkle the top of your bread pudding with granulated sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes or until your bread pudding has puffed up, the top is starting the crisp slightly and the custard is thick and set.

Now for a little extra hot chocolate magic – after your pudding is cooked remove it from the oven and set your oven temp to broil. Sprinkle with mini marshmallows to cover the top. Place back in the oven to toast the marshmallows until golden. This will only take a couple minutes MAX – so be sure to keep a close eye on your marshmallows as they can burn very quickly.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes and serve warm.

Now if you are skipping the marshmallows, I would recommend serving with a healthy dollop of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream… Nommmmmmmm!

** Recipe Adapted from Brown Eggs Jam Jars Chocolate Bread Pudding** 

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Whether you gobble this one up for breakfast or dress it up a bit to serve as a dessert on Christmas – guaranteed yo won’t be disappointed. This is a great festive recipe for the season and I hope you and your family enjoy as much as we did.

Happy Holidays everyone!

​KP xoxo

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