Friday, July 11, 2014

I think I made candy glass - Caramel Croissant Pudding

I've been going through the Nigella cookbook looking for simple recipes to start off my cooking trials and adventures. I ran across my first recipe to try - Caramel Croissant Pudding. (Recipe at bottom)

To be honest I was going to try the Mustard Pork Chops (for a later blog) but when I got to the store they happened to have two day-old croissants for .25 which is just what you need. I think the universe wanted me to make this dish first. So I heeded the call and set forth.

With The Taste on in the background (Starring Nigella herself and Anthony Bourdain) I cleaned up the kitchen and set out my ingredients. I also propped my Ipad up on the dish rack you see in the picture so I could see the recipe as I worked. I have the cookbook on kindle. 

The recipe calls for Bourbon but as I don't have any, I hardly drink, I used Whiskey. Jameson to be exact. It was a partial bottle leftover from a faraway party anyway. 

The first thing you have to do is combine the sugar and water in a pan, swirling to dissolve before you heat. You are making the caramel portion of the dish. Now here is where my non-cooking experience got me. I had to do this step twice. The first time I think I overcooked the sugar water mixture. It was really thick. Seriously it was like thirty seconds from being Candy Glass. (Candy Glass for those who don't know is what breakable windows and bottles and the like are made of for movies and plays. You can get hit in the head with Candy Glass and it doesn't hurt) 
Maybe it was my pan or maybe because I didn't really know what I am doing that caused me to screw up the first attempt. So I heaved a sigh and cleaned out the pan for my second attempt. (This is where I tell you that I forgot the sprayer function on my kitchen sink was on and ended up spraying myself, my dog, and my ipad)

The second attempt worked just great! I was much more diligent and careful with it. Once it was a nice light amber color ( I was not risking it by going for a darker amber like the recipe suggests) I mixed in the rest of the wet ingredients, poured the whole mess over the torn croissants and popped it in the over at 350 for 20 minutes. You are supposed to use a casserole dish, which I do not have. I opted for using my smallest Pyrex mixing bowl which worked just fine. (Vintage is my life, baby!)

In a short bit the house started to smell pretty damn good. My dog kept going in the kitchen, sniffing the air, and spinning around like a nut. When the buzzer went off I was presented with the picture below. Let me tell you that this dish is this side of amazeballs. It was so good I think I said 'Oh my god' at least ten times while tasting it. I will seriously make this for other people to enjoy. I'm sure the taste will differ some with the Bourbon but the good ole Jameson didn't steer me wrong. 

So there you have it. My first attempt at cooking like a fully functioning adult. I know it's simple but when you can't cook, a girl needs simple to cut her teeth on.  Mustard Pork Chops tomorrow. 


2 stale croissants
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval with a capacity of about 500ml/ 2 cups for this.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob 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 looking but don't be too timid.

Take the pan off the heat and add the cream - ignoring all spluttering - followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes

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