This should be called leftover croissant makeover, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it now does it? A great one to have in your back pocket for when you have extra croissants that are about to go stale or if you have guests coming over last minute!
The flavour is very much reminiscent of an Arabic dessert: Om-Ali. Or another version of the crinkle cake I made here, but this time made much quicker with readymade croissants from the bakery. Takes about 30 minutes to make and you should already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen, just grab a handful of croissants from the grocery store, make a simple caramel pudding mixture, pour over the croissants and bake! It is creamy, caramel-ly and buttery. Perfect with a cup of chai!
The best way to use up stale croissants or bread
This caramel croissant pudding recipe actually works best with croissants that are just past their prime, so a great leftover makeover recipe when you have croissants that are about to go stale! It does work just as well with fresh croissants too, but they tend to fall apart a lot more than day old croissants do when baked in the pudding. It still tastes great either way! 🙂
Ingredients for a Croissant Pudding
To make the caramel custard you will need:
- Heavy Cream (whipping cream or 35% cream is best, but you can use what you have on hand. Make this with just milk, or a lighter cream but the pudding wont be as rich and creamy)
And of course some bakery croissants. You don’t need anything fancy here, just the grocery store baked croissants will do. Day old is even better. Also nuts are optional. I like adding a sprinkle of slivered almonds just before baking for added crunch.
How to make caramel (with step by step pictures!)
The trickiest part of the custard is the making the caramel. You have to let the sugar caramelize on its own time, do not stir it with anything, just gently swirl the pan every few minutes and just make sure you watch it like a hawk!
Making caramel is fun to watch and once you have made it a couple of times you will learn to recognize the stages of caramel and know when it is perfect:
- Starts off in the pan as clear liquid as the sugar dissolves into the liquid.
- After a few minutes, the water evaporates it becomes almost like a cloudy sandy sludge. Keep going and remember not to stir it.Just swirl the pan around every 30 seconds or so to make sure the heat is distributing evenly throughout the liquid.
- Another few minutes and it will start to turn back into a clear liquid. This is when the colour change starts to happen.
- At this point, the colour changes fast, so this is where you need to watch it like a hawk! It will turn from clear to yellow to amber. If it starts to turn brown you have gone too far and it is probably going to taste a bit like burnt sugar.
- As soon as you see that amber colour take it off the heat! This is when you will need to add the cream to stop the cooking process so the caramel doesn’t burn.
The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes. And remember, once heated up, the colour change happens fast and it is a fine line between caramel and burnt sugar! You are looking for a deep orangey-amber colour. Do not walk away from the pan when the colour change starts. You need to be ready to add the cream immediately otherwise the sugar might burn and your caramel wont taste as good.
I like to take the caramel off the heat a few seconds before it gets to the perfect amber colour as it will still continue to cook in the residual heat of the pan. This will make sure you don’t get that burnt sugar flavour.
Making a caramel pudding
Once you have your caramel, just add a few beaten eggs to the warm (not hot) caramel mixture and you have the base of a pudding ready for pouring over your croissants!
The secret is to pour the beaten eggs in slowly once the mixture has cooled off a bit so they don’t scramble in the hot liquid.
Feel free to add other ingredients to this to make it your own. Nuts, raisins or even swap out the croissant for some crusty bread and call it a bread pudding! it is a great one to have in your back pocket for when you have any form of bread that needs to be used up!
I do have to warn you though, the smell of that caramel cooking is intoxicating! You will want to make extra!
Let me know if you give this a go!
Caramel Croissant Pudding
- 6 croissants, day old is best
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup whipping cream (35%)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence, optional
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- pinch salt
- 1 Tbsp slivered almonds, optional
Prepare the Croissants
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F. In a large oven proof dish, roughly break the croissants into a few pieces and spread them out in the bottom of the pan. they should cover the bottom of the pan. A little bit of overlap is fine. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs. Set aside. Measure out all your remaining ingredients.
Prepare the Caramel Custard
- Keep your remaining ingredients close by. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add the sugar and water. Allow to simmer on medium swirling gently every few minutes. Make sure not to use any utensils to stir the pan (this will prevent the caramel from forming) Any sugar crystals on the edges will eventually dissolve as they melt.
- After about 5 minutes the mixture will turn from a clear smooth liquid, to sandy clear mixture, to a clear orangey-brown. Watch it carefully! DO NOT step away from the pan. Once the colour change starts it happens fast and can burn very easily! As soon as it turns a light amber colour take it off the heat.
- Immediately add the cream and milk. Be careful! It will sputter and rise up a lot! Using a whisk keep stirring until the mixture calms down and the caramel is mixed into the cream.
- Add the vanilla essence, if using, and slowly pour in the beaten eggs. Make sure to go slow here, you don't want the eggs to scramble in the hot liquid. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
- Pour the custard mixture over the prepared croissants, making sure the croissants are fully soaked in the custard. Sprinkle with slivered almonds, if using.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and the pudding is cooked through and bubbling.