There's a recipe I hunger for on chilly afternoons, though I seldom have all the ingredients when my stomach growls for it it's one that makes me happy to wait until a fresh croissant has turned a little stale. Doesn't sound like the best start to a recipe does it. But trust me, or rather trust Nigella Lawson, this is a simple dish everyone will love. Snapping a picture on my phone before it was all guzzled was the hardest part!
I blame the weather and mammalian instinct for my craving, with the sun shining and a chill still in the air we've been making the most of the light in the day, wrapping up warm and enjoying what feels like Springs rehearsal. But nothing beats coming home to make something delicious and comforting and this is what, for me, is the perfect comfort, warming food; caramel croissant pudding. Sophia and Oona love making it too, or rather the science of it, so I'm not singled out in the kitchen and it's slowly becoming a wintry walk tradition..... and just as we're beginning to thaw out from the day. *ping* it's ready. nom. nom.
- 4 stale croissants (original recipe states 2 but I've always used 4!)
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 x 15 ml tbs water
- 125ml double cream
- 125ml full fat milk
- 2 egg, beaten
*recipe also suggests adding 30ml of bourbon but we skip that bit.
- Tear the croissants up into pieces... not too flakey and put in a gratin / tatin dish. We use a shallow 30cm casserole dish.
- Put the sugar and water in saucepan and watch it dissolve as you swill and swirl it around. Little scientists can learn all about how a liquid can dissolve a solid here and here
- Put the saucepan on the hob over a medium heat and let it bubble away, don't be tempted to stir it, let it turn a deep amber as it caramelizes (about 3-5 minutes).
- Turn the heat down and pour in the cream. It will splutter and that's fine. Whisk, whisk away adding the milk. Little pieces of toffee may form but don't panic these will all go if you keep whisking over a gentle heat.
- Take the pan off the heat and still whisking add the beaten eggs. This is your caramel sauce.
- Pour over the waiting croissants and let them soak it all up for 10 minutes before putting in the oven - now's the time to heat it ready at 180 oC / gas 4 - for 20 minutes.
serves 4 people.... if 2 of them are small!
I hope it's a recipe they'll remember and keep as a tradition with their own families one day.