“I always think that some of the best recipes come from the thrifty refusal to throw anything away. Certainly, I made this one Monday evening because I had two stale croissants left over from the weekend and just knew they could be put to good use. Now, adding cream and bourbon is probably a lot less thrifty than throwing some stale bread away in the first place, but this is such a fabulous pudding that I now think it should be every Monday night’s supper. And I mean supper: With something this substantial, you certainly need eat nothing beforehand. Though I admit a small crunchy salad may not be a bad idea first.”~Nigella Lawson
Pretty sure Homer Simpson sings a chant about making no friends with salad. I’m not going to say I agree with that sentiment 100%, I make some pretty amazing salads, but I do think this particular recipe will make you friends far and wide.
We had this made for us by our lovely friends a couple of times. Those meals (ok so generally all meals with them) were a riot of good times. With that in mind, I decided to make this when we were invited for sushi lunch at the home of some cool cats my husband met on the train. That sounds a bit odd, like he just goes to random people’s homes that he meets on the train. It’s not like that. They are always on the same train into Melbourne in the morning.
Anyway, the good-time memories of eating this with our other friends made me think that it was perhaps one of those magical Like Water For Chocolate dishes that ensures all that eat it have a lovely time. It would be humorous to report here that in fact the exact opposite of a good time happened and perhaps the delicious dessert was cursed, but that would be a lie. We had a blast.
This recipe is where your brain would naturally go if you were thinking about variations on bread pudding. I certainly have considered making bread pudding with items other than regular bread (like sourdough, raisen loaf or even a spelt), but strangely I have never made it to croissants.
After watching a cooking show a couple of years ago on how to make croissants I had put the brakes on buying them. There is enough butter in those things to sink a SHIP. This dessert just adds to the artery hardening with cream and liquor. Sounds good, right?
It is, unsurprisingly, a Nigella Lawson recipe. I love her description.
I do only make a few small alterations in that I did not tear up my croissants, I sliced them so they became delightful spirals. I also sprinkled a layer of dark chocolate buds in the middle. I was inspired by another alteration I’d seen somewhere else, this same recipe but using chocolate croissants instead. Genius! Alas, I live in a village that has no french patisserie and had to make do with what was on offer- rather uninspiring supermarket bought croissants. It’s lucky Nigella suggests using stale croissants, because I don’t think the supermarket ones are EVER fresh. The exact amount of croissants you need is obviously dependant upon your dish size and the size of your croissants.
I made this for 10 people in a large dish….there was ample. Unfortunately, no pictures. It got gobbled up too quickly to even think about food photography.
- 8 or so croissants
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cup cream
- 6 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 7 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup dark chocolate buds
What to do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C.
- Slice the croissants into pieces and layer in an oven proof dish; I use my Pyrex lasagna dish. I sprinkled my chocolate bits over the middle layer, but they could go on the top just as nicely.
- Put the sugar and water into a saucepan over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the cream then the bourbon and milk.Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave for 10 minutes.
- Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top starts to get really brown and crunchy.
- Enjoy and try not to think about the fat/calorific content. You can always go for a run tomorrow.