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Caramel Croissant Bread Pudding

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Serves 6

  • by Julissa Roberts from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

Thanks to buttery, flaky croissants, this bread pudding has a richer flavor and lighter texture than most. It puffs beautifully in the oven but will deflate as it cools, so it’s best baked right before serving. You can assemble the pudding and let it sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour before baking. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

  • 6 cups 1-1/2-inch croissant pieces (torn from 4 large croissants)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup rum, Cognac, bourbon, or whiskey

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Put the croissant pieces in a 2-1/2-quart heatproof baking dish. Break the eggs into a medium bowl, add a pinch of salt, and whisk to blend.

Heat the sugar in a wide, heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan over medium heat without stirring until it begins to turn dark amber, 3 to 5 minutes. Swirl the pan to caramelize the sugar evenly. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the heavy cream, milk, and liquor (be careful, as the liquids will sputter and steam). The caramel will seize up; raise the heat to high and continue whisking until it dissolves, about 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk the caramel mixture into the eggs. Pour the mixture over the croissants, making sure they are fully covered. Bake until golden-brown and puffed, about 15 minutes. Serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 670; Fat (g): 36; Fat Calories (kcal): 320; Saturated Fat (g): 21; Protein (g): 10; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 75; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 260; Cholesterol (mg): 240; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Loved the taste! The crunch on top was the best. Didn't get all the way cooked through, my fault, added an extra egg since I thought mine were small. Served with a lemon sause and was great ! The sugar didn't brown but crystalized instead but all smoothed out once I added the cream and milk. This is a great recipe !

I had such high hopes for this - it sounded so good. I followed the recipe & directions to the letter, right down to a 4-quart heavy duty All-Clad saucepan. The other reviewer is correct, I also found it took much longer for the sugar to dissolve at medium heat. It was quite a lot of effort for a disappointing result, cloyingly sweet, yet a dark, somewhat bitter taste at the same time. The pudding was very dark, about the color of tobacco, which was not real appealing either.

First of all, let me say - I love this, it's delicious. That being said, I'd love to know what kind of stove it is being cooked on. It took me 15 minutes to get to the amber stage - I kept resetting my timer after 5 minutes. I got nervous when it seized up, but I kept going and it did (eventually) dissolve. Well, one little piece didn't. I used a 5 quart pot and had to keep moving it off the burner so it wouldn't boil over. I know that the stovetop I am using is not very good, but I would rate the recipe 5 starts if the timing in the were adjusted to account for variables. Next time I make it, and there will be a next time, I'm going to add chopped up bittersweet chocolate (72% or more)for my chocoholic son.

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