The festive season is incomplete without a good bread and butter pudding. The parents love it, my sisters love it, and since everyone likes a bit of tipple this time of the year, a good glug of whiskey just elevates this pud. Don’t worry if the tops of some of your croissants char a bit, because it’s still going to taste pretty amazing.
I’ve included chopped candied ginger in this recipe, instructions for which are included below. You can make a batch of this well in advance and the syrup it sits in is magical in Christmas drinks like eggnog, cocktails such as Dark and Stormy, and in Martinis.
The Candied Ginger
This translucent ginger is preserved in its syrup, and both syrup and ginger can be used in cakes, desserts, cocktails and so much more. The best ginger to use is firm and heavy, as this imparts more flavour. Young or spring ginger, while rare to find, is the best ginger to pickle. The pungent flavour deepens as it sits, so by the time Christmas rears its pretty head, you already have a jar of these to feed your glorious Christmas pudding.
Peel and cut 200g ginger thinly, but not using a mandoline, then blanch thrice and drain every time till the ginger is tender. Transfer the ginger to a saucepan and add 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water. Bring it to a slow boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes till the sugar starts to crystallise around the rim of the pan. Transfer the ginger slices onto a cooling rack and let it cool. If the leftover syrup is very viscous, thin it out with a dash of water. Keep a sterilised mason jar ready to add the ginger bits and top with the syrup.
For The Croissant and Whiskey Pudding
Croissants 6-7, preferably a day old
White chocolate/White Chocolate Chips 60g
Candied ginger 40g, chopped
Golden syrup 150g
Oranges 2, zested
Caster sugar 1 tbsp, for sprinkling
Icing sugar to dust
Slice the croissants into two and roughly arrange them in a baking pan wide enough to accommodate all the pieces. Sprinkle the white chocolate chips and the candied ginger pieces in between and set aside.
To make the custard, combine the milk, cream, orange zest and golden syrup over a low heat till it comes up a simmer. Crack open the eggs in a large glass bowl and carefully using one hand to gently stream in the mixture, and the other hand to whisk constantly, combine the eggs with the cream mixture. We do this carefully to avoid the eggs from scrambling.
To this mixture, add the whisky and pour it over the croissants. Cover with cling film and let it soak for 2 hours at least in the refrigerator.
Preheat an oven to 180 degrees celsius, and set a rack on the lowest shelf of the oven. This is to reduce the charring like mine did, but you’ll find that they will still catch colour quite quickly so keep aluminium foil on-hand too. Once the oven has preheated, sprinkle the spoonful of caster sugar on top of the croissants and place in the oven. Let this bake for 30 minutes, turning it halfway once and checking on it periodically if you need to cover it with aluminium foil. Bake till the sides are set with a bit of wobble in the centre. Cool completely, dust with icing sugar and serve.