If you can resist this, you have a will of iron. It is almost unbearably delicious, the crusty edges of croissants surrounded by a meltingly tender and yielding custard. Caramel Croissant Pudding is a wonderful way to use up stale croissants, but I would not hesitate to buy croissants and let them go stale on purpose just to make it.
The recipe is from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, and while it is definitely express, it is not the easiest of her recipes. It’s very hands on, so be sure to put the torn up croissants in the baking dish and measure out all the other ingredients before you start. You want to have everything within easy reach as well.
Leave the caramel to bubble away unstirred no matter how nervous it makes you.
Don’t be alarmed if you end up with a huge globule of caramel on the end of your whisk after you add the cream. I did, but I followed Nigella’s instructions to “keep whisking over low heat” and all was well. The caramel custard is simply poured over the croissants and baked.
Nigella recommends you use full fat milk for this recipe, but I use semi-skimmed (2% milk) and it works beautifully. I have used Cointreau can be used in place of the bourbon or rum, but I think rum is my favourite.
This is definitely one of those recipes that is worth every single calorie.
- 4 stale croissants
- a scant cup of white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup double (heavy) cream
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup rum, Cointreau or bourbon
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Tear the croissants into pieces and put them in a medium oven safe casserole.
- Mix together the cream, milk and liquor and set aside.
- Stir the sugar and water together in a saucepan until the sugar is just dissolved.
- Place the saucepan on a burner over medium high heat.
- Let the sugar and water caramelise by leaving it to bubble away on the stove without stirring for about 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, and when it turns a deep amber colour, the caramel is ready.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the cream, milk and liquor mixture, whisking constantly.
- Once all the caramel has dissolved into the cream, remove the pan from the heat.
- Whisk in the beaten eggs.
- Pour the caramel custard over the croissants in the casserole. Leave to sit for ten minutes before baking.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.