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Decadent French Toast Soufflé

Yield Makes 8 servings
Notes: Doris Beckert assembles this scrumptious puffy bread pudding the night before. If you don't have 8 soufflé dishes, assemble ingredients in a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish; bake 5 to 15 minutes longer.Prep and cook time: About 1 hour, plus 8 hours to chill

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound croissants (2 or 3)
  • About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 packages (3 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups maple syrup
  • 10 large eggs
  • 3 cups half-and-half (light cream)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raspberries or edible flowers, such as rose petals or nasturtiums, rinsed and drained

Nutrition Information

  • calories 666
  • caloriesfromfat 61 %
  • protein 15 g
  • fat 45 g
  • satfat 25 g
  • carbohydrate 54 g
  • fiber 0.9 g
  • sodium 531 mg
  • cholesterol 359 mg

How to Make It

  1. Tear croissants into 1/2-inch chunks. Whirl in a food processor until coarsely chopped, or chop with a knife. Butter 8 soufflé dishes (1- to 1 1/4-cup size) and fill equally with croissant pieces.

  2. In a food processor, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup maple syrup; whirl until blended. (Or, in a bowl, beat with a mixer until smoothly blended.) Drop equal portions into each soufflé dish.

  3. In a bowl, beat eggs to blend with 1/2 cup maple syrup and the half-and-half. Pour equally into each soufflé dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 1 day. Set dishes slightly apart in a 10- by 15-inch pan.

  4. Bake, uncovered, in a 350° oven until pudding-soufflés are richly browned and centers barely jiggle when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes.

  5. About 5 minutes before pudding-soufflés finish baking, in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup until hot. Sprinkle pudding-soufflés with pecans, dust with powdered sugar, garnish with berries or flowers, and add hot syrup to taste.

Foothill House, Calistoga, CA