Where do I start with this amazing croissant pudding? It has two stories, or two sides of a story I should say.
I’ll start with the more important bit – the origin. If you watch cook shows you may know this dish already, or if you’re a Nigella Lawson fan you definitely do. I’ve always liked cook shows and I still watch them occasionally. It all started when I was really young and my favorite TV shows would be on at the same time as the cook shows my mom loved to watch. We made a compromise and watched both. And since then on, I’ve always paid attention to them.
I remember when they first introduced Nigella in my country, I immediately loved her. This beautiful woman with a seductive voice just appeared on TV and talked about food in a way that instantly made anyone hungry, and she cooked like it required no effort at all. Everything she made looked amazing, including this croissant pudding.
I still remember the episode. Nigella comes home from a dinner party and whips this pudding up in no time, like she just thought of it. She puts it in the oven and changes into her pajamas while it bakes.
Once baked she takes a few spoonfuls, brings the bowl to her bedroom and eats the pudding in bed. In bed! Talk about indulgence and comfort. And it didn’t seem forced at all (as it was filmed for a TV show and we all know how that works). Seeing that I just knew I had to make this one day.
And so I did. A few times actually, twice just this week. With a few tiny, but tasty, adjustments. I first made it on Tuesday. After 20 minutes of baking, I proudly went to the kitchen to take this baby out of the oven. It looked so, so good.
The croissants were crispy, the custard bubbly and aromatic from all the rum and all I had to do was take the pudding out and let it cool for a few minutes. That’s easy, right? Well, not with a brand new oven mitt that’s way too big for my hand. So, the inevitable happened, I dropped the pudding on the floor!
It just slid out of my hands. It felt like I was watching the dish fall in slow motion, I couldn’t catch it but what I kept thinking was “hit the oven door, hit the oven door”, hoping it would land right there. It didn’t. The dish bumped into the oven door and fell on the floor. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in that moment, seeing the beautiful pudding, that was supposed to be our dessert, on the floor.
But of course I didn’t cry, or laugh, I was just disappointed. Lucky for us I was able to save some of it, so we did get a taste of the caramel goodness and the evening wasn’t ruined after all.
I made it again on Friday with the purpose of taking photos of it for you guys. This time I was super careful and as you can see I didn’t drop it, the croissant pudding is here in all its glory.
This truly is a wonderful dish. I know it’s indulgent and having it twice in one week is excessive, but it is really good. Nigella uses bourbon but I prefer rum and orange zest. They’re both aromatic and just perfect.
As a dish, this can be everything – a breakfast, dessert or a sweet dinner. I actually prefer to eat it on its own and enjoy it fully, but a small portion after a light dinner sounds great too. Whatever the setting, you just cannot resist his pudding, the buttery croissants smothered in caramel rum custard are just too inviting.
Caramel croissant pudding with rum
Comfort food at its best.
Makes 4 generous servings. Can be divided to 6 smaller, but satisfying servings.
- 4 croissants, preferably stale
- 200g (7 ounces / almost 1 cup) sugar
- 60ml (1/4 cup) tablespoons water
- 240 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
- 240 ml (1 cup) milk
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 4 eggs, beaten
- zest of 1/2 orange
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place rack in the center of the oven.
- Tear the croissants into pieces and place in an oval 1-liter | 1-quart baking dish.
- Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and swirl around to dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the stove. Cook on medium-high heat until the sugar caramelizes. Let the sugar and water mixture bubble and cook, without stirring until it all turns a deep amber color. This will take about 5 minutes (or a little more, be patient!). The longer you let it cook at a low temperature, the darker the color gets.
- Once it looks right, turn heat down to low and slowly pour in the cream while whisking constantly. Add the milk and rum too.
- Take off the stove and add the beaten eggs and orange zest while still whisking.
- Pour the caramel rum custard over the croissants and put the dish in the middle of the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Let pudding cool for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.
2 tablespoons of rum give a nice flavor, but are not overpowering. Add 4 tablespoons if you want a strong rum taste.
I’ve made this with 3 eggs before and the outcome was pretty much the same.
If any solid toffee forms after you add the cream and milk (because they are colder and can cool down the sugar), keep whisking the custard over low heat and the toffee will dissolve easily.
Add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to the custard to make the pudding extra aromatic.
If using really stale croissants, let them steep in the custard for 10 minutes or more before baking the pudding.
As mentioned above, this recipe is only slightly adapted fromNigella Lawson’s caramel croissant pudding.