I made this a few weeks ago, and I definitely recommend making it in the fall or winter. It's just not a summer dessert. But, of course, it's still delicious any time.
The bread pudding is cooked in a water bath. I have a disposable aluminum pan (like for roasting turkeys) that I use for this purpose.
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
from Ann D
2 large croissants, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 large egg yolks
2 c. whipping cream
½ c. sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚. Arrange croissant cubes on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325˚.
Sprinkle chocolate on bottom or pie or quiche dish. Top with croissant cubes.
Pour cream into heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from the vanilla bean and then add the bean. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Discard vanilla bean. Pour over chocolate and croissants.
Place pie dish in large baking pan. Add enough water to pan until the level is halfway up the sides of the pie dish. Bake pudding until set, about 40 minutes. Remove water; cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.