Royal Park Hotel and Salvation Army holding sweet event to start Red Kettle campaign

Since 2009, the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester has worked with the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit to launch the annual Red Kettle fundraising.

The sweet event is focused around the most holiday of treats: gingerbread. And, since it's Michigan, they're not making gingerbread houses, they're making gingerbread lighthouses. On Thursday, Royal Park Hotel chef Mark Slessor stopped in for another holiday treat: a twist on bread pudding.

Toffee bread pudding

2 quarts heavy cream
1 quart half and half
24 oz. homemade toffee
30 oz. egg yolks
2  tablespoons toffee extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Chopped dates
Heath bar pieces
Frozen croissants

1.       Bring cream, half-and-half, and toffee to a boil.
2.       Temper yolks with cream mixture and strain.
3.       Add extracts.
4.       Add chopped dates and heath pieces to chopped frozen croissants and bearclaws (mix with hands and don't compress)
5.       Place mixture in desired dish.
6.       Pour custard over dry mixture until all Danish is covered.
7.       Let sit at least half an hour.
8.       Bake in a waterbath at 250° F for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the dish.

Visitors are welcome to see the gingerbread lighthouse on display through the beginning of January 2016.