Now Cooking: Croissant Bread Pudding with Chef Ashish Alfred

Chef Ashish Alfred | Photo by David Stuck

Celebrate National Croissant Day, Jan. 30, by preparing Duck Duck Goose’s Croissant Bread Pudding, courtesy of Chef Ashish Alfred.

Chef Ashish Alfred employs a simple and elegant style—“if you’re only going to put two or three things on a plate, then those two or three things have to be done with a lot of care and a lot of love,” he says.

The creator and executive chef of Duck Duck Goose in Fells Point (which also has locations in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda) draws from his French Culinary Institute education, adding a contemporary, soulful twist.

During the past few years, Alfred has been praised for his philanthropy, business growth and advocacy—fighting against exorbitant mobile app ordering fees and learning from his past struggles to break down stereotypes of toxic restaurant work environments.

“I think dead are the days of screaming chefs. Dead are the days of bad behavior inside of restaurants,” he says.

His buttery croissant bread pudding below is a favorite.

Chef Ashish Alfred’s Croissant Bread Pudding | Photo by David Stuck

Bread Pudding
Makes 6 servings

For the Bread Pudding:
12 baked croissants
4 whole eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon Conch Republic Dark Rum
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Salted caramel ice cream, for serving (optional)

For the Caramel Sauce:
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ quart (2 cups) heavy cream

For the Bread Pudding:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the croissants into cubes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, milk, heavy cream, rum and vanilla until smooth.
3. Mix custard with cut croissants thoroughly and place mixture evenly in a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish.
4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour and up to 1 1/2 hours. Check the bread pudding after one hour. The bread should be golden brown and the custard should be set.
5. When ready to serve, heat the bread pudding in the oven for about 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon caramel sauce into the bottom of the serving bowl. Place bread pudding on top of caramel and garnish with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream if desired.

For the Caramel Sauce:
1. Melt sugar and butter together in a large saucepan until liquidy and saucy, being careful not to burn or scorch the mixture.
2. Whisk in the heavy cream and reserve for serving.

Look for Chef Ashish’s Poached Pear Salad recipe in our digital February/March 2022 edition.


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