Siriously Delicious Recipes

Cookbook, Seriously Delicious is a Washington Post Besseller. It’s author, Siri Daly, is a popular food blogger, Today Show food contributor, and the wife of Carson Daly.She stops by to prepare two of the recipes from the book.

Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
serves 12

Hands-on time: 15 MINUTES
total time: 2 hours 40 MINUTES

I am not a donut person. I am a chocolate croissant person. When I was 16, I went to France on a school trip, at which point I contracted a very serious disease called Pain Au Chocolat Syndrome. There is no cure. In fact, the only treatment for such a syndrome is to consume copious amounts of chocolate croissants in one’s lifetime. For this reason, I created the following bread pudding for those suffering as I am–or for anyone that loves decadent casseroles starring buttery bread and rich, dark chocolate. Make sure to allow a full hour for the croissants to absorb the cream and eggs, as this will help create a lusciously moist (without being wet) bread pudding. It is the perfect recipe for a Mother’s Day brunch (especially if I’m your mother).

8 large croissants
2 cups dark chocolate chunks (about 11 ounces)
1 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1. Slice the croissants in half horizontally, separating the top and bottom halves. Cut the bottom halves into 1-inch cubes, and leave the tops whole.

2. Place the croissant cubes on the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish. Sprinkle with half each of the chocolate chunks and pecans. Place the croissant tops, crust sides up, over the layer of croissant cubes (overlapping slightly, if needed), and top with the remaining chocolate chunks and pecan pieces.

3. Whisk together the granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl until pale yellow. Whisk in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. Pour the mixture over the croissants; cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Discard the plastic wrap from the baking dish; place the dish in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top of the bread pudding evenly with the turbinado sugar. Bake until golden brown and set in the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; serve warm.

Siriously Fancy
To serve individual bread puddings to dinner guests–because anything mini is “fancy”–divide the bread cubes and torn halves of croissant tops into 12 (10-ounce) ramekins and divide other fillings and sprinkles among ramekins the same way the whole baking dish was assembled. Place the ramekins in a baking pan with water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until set.

Mojito Mule
Serves 1

Hands-on time: 5 Minutes
Total time: 5 Minutes

While Mojitos are super, and Moscow Mules are all fine and good, there is something extra special about the marriage of the two popular drinks. I introduce you to.?.?.the Mojito Mule–a refreshing beverage that combines the spicy fizz of a Moscow Mule with the sweet freshness of a Mojito. All of your friends will say, “Wow, you are uniquely creative when it comes to happy hour drinks.” You may reply with, “Oh this old thing? All I did was muddle fresh mint and fresh lemon juice with tasty gin and a homemade simple syrup and topped it off with bubbly ginger beer.” Be sure to serve it in a copper mug to really keep this crisp beverage icy and cool. It’s the perfect drink marriage.?.?.I think it will last.

4 to 5 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) dry gin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) ginger beer (such as Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer)
Lemon slice (optional)

Place the mint leaves, gin, lemon juice, and Simple Syrup in a copper mug. With a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently press the mint leaves to release oils. Add ice to the mug, and top with the ginger beer, stirring to blend the flavors. Serve immediately with a lemon slice, if desired.

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