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Croissant Bread Pudding with Brandy Cream Sauce

8 plain croissants, broken into pieces
1/2-3/4 cup raisins or dried blueberries
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons brandy
1/4 cup butter, melted, optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
2 ounces butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon/sugar mixture

2 ounces butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed to paste with a little water
2-3 tablespoons brandy

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 X 11" casserole dish. Place half
the croissants in the dish; sprinkle with raisins, and then top
with remaining croissants. Beat the eggs till light, gradually
adding the sugar until thick. Whisk in milk, cream, brandy, melted
butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Pour mixture over the
croissants, cover, and leave to absorb in the refrigerator for an
hour or so or up to a day. Before baking, bring to room temperature.
Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar. Bake 40 minutes.
Serve immediately with sauce.

Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and water
and stir until boiling and sugar has dissolved. Add cream, vanilla,
and cornstarch paste and stir until thickened, Finally, add brandy.
Sauce can be made in advance and reheated just before serving.

Serves 8

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