Gossip Girl Sleepover.

I’m the type of person that when I discover something fantastic, I have to let everyone know about it.  When I got entangled in The Wire, I started making calls.  When I read Bel Canto twice in one week, I sent Ann Patchett‘s bibliography around to my friends.  And when I found myself thinking nonstop about Rufus, Lily, Chuck and Blair, I realized the Gossip Girl experience was one that needed to be shared.

After I got Darlington hooked, she did her part in spreading the word; soon her sister Amanda was contemplating certain characters’ wardrobes and others’ plotlines.  Having learned this, I did what any good friend with a TiVo would do: I saved four episodes and had the girls over for a Gossip Girl sleepover.

pain-au-chocolat-pudding1A good sleepover requires a few integral elements, and by that I mean food.  The three of us put together two pizzas for dinner, along with a nice lemony salad, and after watching a few episodes, we took a break for some cookie making.  You know, for a long while I thought there were few things better than a warm peanuty, chocolatey cookie straight from the oven, but that was before I baked a bread pudding out of chocolate brioches.

This is admittedly a heartbreakingly rich breakfast, and certainly not one that anyone should be eating on a daily basis.  It is, though, incredibly fragrant and heady, and absolutely dangerous when combined with three pajama-clad girls and forty-four minutes of a highly-stylized Upper East Side.  It is also much better when eaten with a spoon.  The better to scoop it up with.

Pain-Au-Chocolate Pudding, from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson
Makes six portions.

3-4 stale pains au chocolat (we used chocolate brioches)
2 ¼ cups milk
2 ¼ cups heavy cream (we used light)
1 large egg
4 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.  Butter an ovenproof dish with a capacity of approximately 6 cups; roughly cut up the pains au chocolat into slices 1 inch thick and arrange them in the dish.
  2. Pour milk and cream into a pan and bring almost to a boil.  Whisk the egg, yolks and sugar in a separate bowl; when the milk and are nearly boiling, pour over the eggs and sugar, whisking continually.  Add vanilla and pour over pain au chocolat and leave to soak for 10 minutes.  Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until the pudding is softly set.

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