Chef Andre's Chunky Georgia Peach & Chocolate Bread Pudding

A few years ago while preparing a new menu item in one of the kitchens at Innisbrook, I suddenly had a flashback to a great childhood memory that occurred at home at the conclusion of a great supper with family and friends. Everyone was sitting together, enjoying each other's company and talking about the amazing scent that was filling the dining room from the oven in the kitchen. Recalling the smiles that went along with the excited "Ooh's and Aah's" at the dinner table that evening made me smile again as I stood there remembering the heaping spoons, filled with the aromatic treasures we had been smelling all evening. As memory has it, I was one of those bookworms as a young man, focused and always writing hundreds of notes about things that I felt were important. This is one of those things that I knew I had to remember and am happy to share.

I have replicated this dessert at Innisbrook and it has become one of the most requested items at Market Salamander Grille. In fact, fans of a nationally televised show invited me to appear on their show and do a cooking segment that would show viewers just how to create this dessert at home for family and friends.

Although most might think this would be an intimidating dessert to prepare, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this 2 in terms of ease to prepare. Surely you can think of an upcoming event or occasion in your life where you know this will be the perfect dessert to impress and treat your guests. If for some reason you get stuck along the way, send me a note and it will be my pleasure to assist.

Ingredients: Yield: 1 large baking dish or several small dishes
Croissants 6 - 8 large
Muffins / your favorite type 4 Medium
Chocolate Chips or Chunks 2 Cups Semi Sweet
Peach pieces 3 Cups Cut into small chunks
Heavy Whipping Cream 3 Cups
Eggs Whole Fresh X-Large 3 Each
Honey 1/4 Cup
Vanilla Extract 3 Tablespoons
Mascarpone Cheese 8 Ounces

Procedure: Preheat oven to 325 degrees
1. On a cutting board rough chop the croissants and muffins into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.
2. In a bowl add the cream, eggs, honey, vanilla and mascarpone; whisk for 2 minutes.
3. Add the croissant, muffin, chocolate and peach pieces; mix until the liquid is completely absorbed.
4. Apply a light coating of butter /oil spray into each baking dish.
5. Place equal amounts of the croissant mix into 1 large dish or into each small baking dish; level with the top of the dish.
6. Place the dish(es) onto a baking tray and into the oven.
7. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes -- until a golden to nutty brown crust forms on the top edges of the croissants and muffins and the liquid is bubbling in the center.
8. Remove and serve immediately alone or with your favorite ice cream. Enjoy!