Periodic Pudding Number 6: Caramel Croissant Pudding

What’s this?  The first pudding post in 7 months?  And on a Friday?  It must be Fiesta Friday’s first anniversary!

This recipe has been on my radar for years.  I remember being at Uni (10 years ago) and Nigella came on the TV looking flawless in a coat and said how she likes to make this as a cheeky supper after a night out.  We all laughed.  Firstly, over the three years of study none of us had ever come home from a night out looking so good.  She didn’t have a kebab or a road cone and didn’t fall over or be sick once.  Secondly, the only croissant ever to last long enough to get stale was stale before it got to me; and thirdly, if I had tried making that after a night out I would have either burned the house down or burned myself down.

So imagine my surprise the other morning when despite a sterling effort I had three croissants left at the end of breakfast.  What else could I do but give it a go?

To make this you will need: 2 stale croissants, 100g caster sugar, 2 tbs water, 125ml double cream, 125ml full fat milk, 2tbs bourbon, and 2 eggs (beat the eggs).

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Firstly, while still wearing your coat turn the oven on to 180c (Gas 4), and tear the croissants into pieces and put them in a small dish.  I didn’t have a gratin dish so I used one of my small tins, which was just the right size.

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Pour the caster sugar into a small heavy bottomed pan and add 2tbs of water.  Stir it in so it all dissolves and out the pan on a medium high heat.  Don’t stir the sugary water while it bubbles away.  After 3-5 minutes it should have turned a deep amber colour.  While its bubbling away you can measure out the milk, cream and beat the eggs.

This was the exact moment when I would have burned down my house during my drunken youth.  Too violent to stop and take a picture even.  Turn the heat down low and pour in the cream, whiskey and milk while stirring rigorously.  It was like an explosion and I’m surprised I still have my arm hair.  Any solid bits of toffee that form will dissolve as you keep on whisking over the low heat.  Keep whisking and take the pan off the heat and whisk in the beaten eggs.

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Pour the caramel-y custard over the croissants and leave it to soak for 10 minutes.  Put it in the oven for 20 minutes.

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I’m in two minds about this.  It could definitely have fed 3 or 4 instead of making 2 people feel a little sick.  It was very rich, I think too rich for me but I liked the flavour.  My lover didn’t.  He ate as much as he could and said “No offence; that was horrible.  It was just some wet croissant in some singing sauce.” So I won’t be making that again!

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It looked lovely, it smelled delicious, it just wasn’t for us.  It was good to finally make this after all these years, and I reckon with smaller portions we’d have been ok… Next time, I’ll make it drunk!

Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

nigella express

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20 comments

  1. This looks delicious! Such a lovely anecdote, you’ve got to love Nigella! I’ve yet to have stale croissants around the house, but I will let you know when it happens 🙂

    1. These were my first stale ones in 32 years – and they weren’t even stale stale, they’d just been on the side for a few hours! If rich creamy caramel us your thing then you can’t go wrong with this!

    1. Aww thank you Caroline! I think this recipe was the reason I bought the book all those years ago, then I was too scared of burning my face off with hot sugar to give it a go! I think it would be perfect for a slightly boozy winter dinner party, with icecream instead of creme fresh…? I’m just too much of a peasant for rich food I think haha 🙂

  2. Well, if you’ve discovered anything with your creation of this dish, it’s that looks can be deceiving. My sweet tooth still is telling me to take a bite…albeit a small one! Thoroughly enjoyed your narrative… thanks for sharing your story and recipe with all of us at Fiesta Friday!

    1. Hehe thanks Nancy! I also discovered how to make creamy caramel, which is never really done before! I think if I’d had a much smaller portion it would have been fine, it was just too much richness for me, and my lovers a philistine 🙂

  3. I was thinking about you the other day and wondered if you had stopped blogging – I am still following you but just haven’t seen you recently. I have missed your irreverent humour – only you could take us through such a funny and fabulous build up and then say it was horrible! Loved it! Happy Fiesta Friday!

    1. Haha thanks Selma! I had such high hopes for it too – maybe my expectations were to great after spending the last 10 years thinking of it as the ultimate housefire starting dessert! I’ve still been blogging – just the normal Friday mornings, but it’s been a few weeks since anything was a failure! I need to get back into reading everyone else’s blogs, I seem to have spent the whole of January asleep in my chair or queuing at the chip shop! Lovely to be missed though 🙂 🙂 happy fiesta Friday!

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