Croissants, Challah or Brioche cut into bite-size pieces and enough to fill a 13 X 9 inch glass casserole dish… about 6 croissants or half a loaf of Challah or Brioche.
12 ounces chocolate pieces, dark, semi sweet,
3 cups half and half
1/2 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Fill a 13 X 9 inch glass or ceramic casserole dish at least two layers high with bread pieces. Bake on the middle shelf of a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until croissant pieces are toasted and medium brown in color. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees.
In the meantime, chop chocolate into bite-size pieces and set aside.
Then, split the vanilla bean and scrape seeds into a saucepan of the measured half and half. Add the scraped pod for flavor.
Now stir constantly, bring half and half mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Discard vanilla bean pod and set aside to cool a bit.
Mix egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl until blended well. Combine with the slightly warm custard mixture and incorporate well.
Spread chopped chocolate over toasted bread pieces. Pour custard over all and place casserole dish on the middle rack of the oven. Bake about 30 minutes or until set.
Serve hot out or keep warm. Garnish with whipped cream.