how not to bake the week after Christmas

Healthy-eating resolutions abound this time of year, and while I’d love to hop on board, I’m too hooked on the sweet stuff. My justification stands that if I don’t deny myself amazing foods, I’ll never rarely feel the need to overindulge. And since this (usually) works, I don’t put up much resistance when tempted with baking recipes that catch my fancy. (The one exception being Nutella Pound Cake–that I make only once or twice a year as my “resistance” heads for the hills when this glorified quick bread emerges from the oven.)

So, when faced with a package of stale croissants on my counter–a gift from a neighbor that had yet to be opened–I could only think Bread Pudding. Heaven forbid I throw food away; bread pudding seemed a good spot for these tired pastries.

torn stale croissants needing a home

torn stale croissants needing a home

Nigella Lawson had a doozy of a recipe on Food Network’s website. And for drizzling? I found a caramel bourbon sauce that looked divine in a hard-copy favorite–Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book. Both recipes involved making a caramel sauce using the wet method and I’ll ‘fess up and admit to mangling both. The sugar crystallized each time, though I pushed through and managed passable fixes. Cream, milk, and eggs helped smooth out the caramel for the bread pudding’s custard. And the caramel sauce for drizzling only needs a quick re-heat to return to silky smooth status. (I’ve since done plenty of “how to keep caramel sauce from crystallizing” googling, so am confident I’ll get it down eventually. Seems a good resolution for 2013: Make a Perfect Caramel Sauce.)

In the end, I can’t say I really needed to make croissant bread pudding just a week after finishing the last of the Christmas goodies. Nor did I need to bake up a rich dessert after enjoying the rich desserts that followed holiday meals. It makes much more sense to push fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. And I will, honest. I’m just making sure we’re covered come dessert.

stale croissants spun into gold

stale croissants spun into gold

5 thoughts on “how not to bake the week after Christmas

  1. Oh man, my weakness! I love any kind of bread pudding — sweet or savory. And with caramel too? Yum! I also have problems with the actual making of caramel though. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s a giant disaster. I guess my resolution should be the same as yours! =) Hey — have you ever made Nigella Lawson’s pain au chocolat bread pudding from How to be a Domestic Goddess? It’s one of my absolute favorite dinner party desserts. Not too sweet, but oh-so-elegant.

    • Imagine that, we share a love of bread pudding and both have difficulty making caramel. (Though neither are uncommmon!) I need to look up NL’s pain au chocolat. Thanks for the recommend.

  2. Pingback: the caramel chronicles continue | food for fun


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