un, deux, trois, quatre croissants (avec creme anglais)
I was put in charge of pudding over the weekend so decided to take the dariole moulds for a spin. I wanted something quite quick and fairly decadent without being too sweet. Hello, bread-and-butter-pudding-made-out-of-croissants. Not an entirely new concept, but one which lends itself surprisingly well to individual portioning.
Part of my motivation was to use up a slightly stale packet of those fairly bready, not very exciting supermarket croissants. The breadier, less flakey texture means that they are actually perfect for this recipe as they have more give and are less likely to shatter into a thousand flakey pieces.
I split them in half and spread with Frank Coopers' Vintage Oxford Marmalade. I wanted a more tart and less jammy flavour so this was perfect. The moulds were then well greased with butter to prevent any sticking as they cooked.
Next up was wrapping the croissants into a pinwheel shape by curling one end round the other. Basically a swiss roll from a single croissant. They do break up slightly but - to be completely honest - the custard covers a multitude of sins, so just stuff them in the mould. The end product is remarkably forgiving.
Now time for custard. The slightly trickier part. I combined 300ml of milk with 50ml of cream in a pan and heated gently. In a separate bowl, I whisked 25g of sugar with two whole eggs and one extra egg yolk. I also added a healthy grating of nutmeg to the cream mixture. In anything egg-custard related, the nutmeg really is a key ingredient. I let the cream mix cool off slightly and then whisked it into the egg and sugar. I then poured the resulting custard in each of the three moulds. The croissants do seem to suck in more and more liquid so, if you have any extra, come back and top the moulds up.
I topped each pudding with a few flaked almonds and a pinch of brown sugar to create a bit of crunch. They then went into a 180c oven for 20 minutes.
When they are out of the oven, whip round the edge of the mould with a palette knife (rather conveniently, we have them in our presentation kit!). You can then either flop them out straight into a dish, or first on to another dish to flip them the right way up. I served them with some whipped cream.
The verdict? Total yummers. They turned out more custard-y than croissant-y but were none the poorer for this - I have always been a fan of the sloppier bread and butter pudding. I am now cooking up ideas for different variations.... lemon curd with pistachios on the top? apple puree and cinnamon with a crumble topping? nutella (if I weren't the only person in the world who doesn't like nutella) with walnuts?