Caramel Croissant Pudding

I was the host of  July/August’s What’s Baking group and I chose the theme of “Heritage Dish”–make a dish common from a/one country of your heritage.

Since I am part English I wanted to make a Pudding. I scoured cookbooks and the internet for the one. Then, on nigella.com, I found it. Caramel and Croissant Pudding?! REALLY? mmmmmm. It came out just as delicious as it sounded. It also took all of 10 minutes to put together to boot. 

What a genius way to use up day old or stale croissants-they go so fast. The super-buttery bread paired with a simple caramel with a hint of rum makes an amazing combination of flavors.  The texture is nice too as some of the croissants stick up and get a little crusty while it bakes. This recipe is genius.

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Caramel Croissant Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 day old croissants-mine were the standard large bakery size, ripped into inch-sized pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond and coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 2 large eggs beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place the croissant pieces into a baking dish large enough to hold all of them tightly packed into an almost even layer.
  3. Put the sugar into a deep sauce pan, add the water and swirl to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Place the sauce pan over medium/high heat and let it bubble on, no stirring, until it’s a deep amber color-3ish to 5ish minutes.
  5. Turn the heat to low and add the cream, it will sputter so be careful, but whisk continuously while adding the  milk and rum. Keep stirring and make sure to dissolve any hard bits that form.
  6. Remove from heat, keep whisking, and add the eggs until all mixed and combined.
  7. Pour it over the croissants.
  8. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Good luck not eating it all in one sitting.

It could make 1, 2 or 6 servings depending on how greedy those who are eating it are.

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Adapted from nigella.com

Dreamy Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel Krispies

When I received the email from Heather letting me know the theme for this month’s What’s Baking challenge was ‘salty and sweet’ I immediately thought of the Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel that I make (recipe here). It’s so so so delicious. I thought about baking it into brownies (but I’m not all that much of a chocolate fan), I thought about making cupcakes and using that over the frosting and the list went on and on.   Then bing!!!bing!!!bing!!! Rice Krispie treats came to mind.  Yummy-sweet marshmallowy crispy goodies plus the gorgeous caramel? Yes, please. The only problem was that I’d never actually made RK treats even though as a kid I ate tons.  So I looked at the recipe on the Rice Krispie website and saw that wow it’s easy.  So here we go.

They’re very slightly salty, marshmallowy, crispy, a touch vanilla-ey and subtlety caramelly. These are sticky. They’re gooey. They’ll ruin your diet. And you’ll love every minute of it 🙂

I’d say these took about 45 minutes not including the cooling time. That includes making the caramel (so easy!) and the Krispie treats.

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Dreamy Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Krispies

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 10oz package of marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • waxed paper

Instructions:

  1. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with the non-stick spray and set it aside.
  2. Pull off a sheet of waxed paper about the size of the pan and set it aside.
  3. In a pan (large enough to hold all ingredients and stir them) over low heat melt the butter then add marshmallows and stir until they’re melted completely (I used a metal spoon).
  4. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until evenly combined with the marshmallows.
  5. Stir in the caramel and mix until evenly combined. Start with the 1/4 cup and add a little more if you want to.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pan and use the spoon and waxed paper to press it evenly into the pan.
  7. Set the pan aside for it to cool and set.  Store in airtight containers. rice1

 

Heather from www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.com was the host. Thanks Heather!

WB

 

Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

Caramel.

Yum. Buttery sugary goodness that’s too often imitated so poorly. I’ve  made it a few times now from scratch and I’m hooked. I’ve been looking for variations on caramel candies because, while I love them, I know that I can do a lot more with it.

I had printed a delicious Caramel Budino recipe a year or so ago. I’ve never gotten around to making the Budino (but I will) but I really liked how vanilla salted caramel sauce that went with it sounded.

So this past Saturday I pulled out the recipe and started in. I photographed the process by which the ingredients turn from sugar/corn starch to yummy caramel. So many times I’d read recipes that tell me to look for ‘golden color’. Well-how golden is golden? I’ve burned a few batches standing over the stove, wondering just that. When I look down-poof-it’s a burned, stinking mess that goes in the garbage and stinks up my kitchen for a while; kind of like burned popcorn. So to avoid all confusion:

When sugar first starts to boil.

When sugar first starts to boil.

A little while longer.

A little longer still.

A little longer still.

If this was Star Wars these are the droids you're looking for.

If this was Star Wars these are the droids you’re looking for.

How I’ve lived without this sauce for my 37.5 years is now a mystery. How you’ve lived without it is a mystery as well. You should make this today-but you need to swear to me that you’ll say it ‘caramel’ and not ‘carmUl’ if you do.  There’s no ‘mul’ at the end of the word and there’s an ‘A’ in the middle. That’s one of my pet peeves.

I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘oh it’s hard to make caramel’. Let me reassure you. It’s not. If you pay attention, follow the directions and look at the photos above it’s really almost foolproof.  So put on some good music and get to it.

This recipe makes a fair amount. I’d say about 2 cups or so. The recipe below is a combination of the printed recipe and a generic caramel recipe I’ve used in the past.  Pour some over gelato, dip sliced granny smith apples into it (like I did late on Saturday), drizzle it over a cookie or a brownie.  And give some to someone else-they’ll love it!!

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Vanilla Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and both bean and seeds set aside for use
  • 1&1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes, chilled
  • 1&1/2 tsp fleur de sel

Instructions

  1. Place the vanilla bean and seeds into a small measuring cup large enough to hold the heavy cream. Add the heavy cream and set aside.
  2.  Measure the butter and salt and set aside for use later.
  3. In a small sauce pan over low heat combine the butter, salt, cream and vanilla bean mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Allow it to simmer gently for a few minutes then remove from heat and set aside.
  4.  In a heavy bottomed sauce pan add the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. (It’s at this point that you should start singing along with Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’. The length of that song was how long it took to go from boiling to golden for me.) Allow the liquid to bubble over medium heat until that golden color in photo #4 arrives. It will take anywhere from 5-8 minutes depending on your stove and heat.  Gently swirl the pan a lot as it’s bubbling.
  5. While the sugar mixture is bubbling remove the vanilla bean from the cream. Make sure to squeeze all of the beans/cream out of the bean into the butter/cream mixture before you discard.  Do it fast and don’t stop paying attention to the sugar mixture.
  6. When the sugar mixture is the correct color remove the pan from the heat, gradually add the vanilla/butter/cream mixture (Be careful!! It bubbles vigorously!!). Reduce the heat to medium low and whisk the ingredients together until smooth and thick-about 2 minutes.

When the caramel has cooled a bit you may pour it into jars (I had 2 clean jam jars to reuse) to store in the refrigerator or eat it with a spoon right from the pan like I did.

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Tim also loved it. How cute is it that he’s holding the bowl down with his foot? He’s making sure to get every last bit.

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http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Caramel-Budino-with-Salted-Caramel-Sauce-367132#ixzz2OZ0JL0Ne

Bacon Cashew Caramel Popcorn

On Saturday night I went to see some of my very favorite people in the world and the house that they bought recently.  In addition to bringing peperonata and crackers and fresh mozzarella I brought this popcorn with me as well to munch on after dinner. Wow was it great. I had never made caramel corn before so I was concerned about how it would come out but I worried needlessly-this was EXCELLENT and really easy to make.  Just enough salty and sweet and crunchy. It really could become addicting very quickly.

Before I started I googled the original recipe from Bon Appetit and there were so many complaints from people about how many pots and pans they used etc… I thought it was pretty funny considering if you read the recipe you’ll see that you need a few. I can’t say that there was all that many though. But not to worry-I made a few adjustments to the orignal recipe that save some pans and washing time.  Caramel is pretty sticky and it will be hot for a while.  Best to let it cool in the pan and then soak the pan in some hot water-it will wash right off (unless you burn it) or wait until it’s cool enough then eat it with a spoon right from the pan :).

Caramel corn

Bacon Cashew Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 4-4.5ozs organic, unsalted air-popped popcorn*
  • 6-12 ozs bacon, cooked and chopped into various sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup cashews, raw and unsalted, chopped into various sized pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a very large metal bowl (large enough to fit all of the popcorn and ingredients and be stirred) combine the popcorn, bacon, cashews and salt and stir until evenly distributed. Set aside. Spray 2 metal spatulas or spoons (or 1 of each) with non-stick spray. Set them aside.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed medium sized sauce pan over medium heat combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 tsp salt.  Using a candy thermometer bring to the soft ball stage (if you’re not using a candy thermometer bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.  The caramel will get poufy. Stir it well to make sure that everything is evenly combined.  Pour it over the popcorn in the large bowl and using 2 spoons or spatulas, stir and fold everything together until evenly distributed (don’t forget the little bits at the bottom of the bowl).
  5. Spoon the popcorn onto the baking sheets making an even layer on each.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes until caramel is shiny and coats the popcorn, giving the baking sheets a turn halfway through and stirring if needed.  If any large clumps appear break them up with a spatula.
  7. Remove from oven and place the baking sheets onto cooling racks until popcorn has cooled.

Note: For cooling the popcorn I removed the popcorn from the baking trays when it was cool enough to touch-about 15 minutes, and transferred it to a large colander and placed it outside in the 20degree shade to cool.  Since the baking sheets had non-stick spray residue on it I did not want that absorbed into the popcorn to make it mushy.

*You can also use 1/2 cup popcorn kernels and pop them as per the manufacturer instructions.  To save time and pans though I bought a bag from Fairway that was popped fresh and unsalted.  Saved me having to clean a pot and a lid and possibly burning it  (which I tend to do).  Besides-a 6oz bag was on sale for $1.99 that day-so I saved money too.

Makes enough to fill 1 gallon-sized Ziplock bag.

Adapted quite a bit from Bon Appetit.

Tim goes crazy for it too!! 2 of his favorites-bacon and caramel-in one place.

popcorn timmy