Thanks to buttery, flaky croissants, this bread pudding has a richer flavor and lighter texture than most. It puffs beautifully in the oven but will deflate as it cools, so it’s best baked right before serving. You can assemble the pudding and let it sit at room temperature for up to 1 hour before baking. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
To toast nuts, arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 2 to 4 minutes or until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darkened. Reserve.
Tear the croissants into bite-sized pieces and place half in the baking dish. Reserve the remaining half.
When the nuts are cool enough to handle, mix them with 1 teaspoon sugar and the ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top of the croissants in the baking dish. Top with a layer of the remaining croissant pieces.
In a medium bowl, combine the Hood Heavy Cream and Hood Light Cream. Reserve.
In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs by hand until just beaten. Add the vanilla extract and the dissolved espresso powder to the eggs and whisk to combine. Reserve.
To make the caramel, combine 1 cup sugar and the water in a medium stainless steel saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Heat the sugar and water mixture over medium-high heat. Caramelize the sugar mixture by letting it gently boil, but do not stir. It should take 10 to 14 minutes for the mixture to turn a deep yellow/orange color. When it does, turn the heat to low. Slowly add the cream to the caramel, whisking vigorously. The mixture will be bubbly and will give off steam, so be careful. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the coffee syrup and whisk for about a minute. Slowly add the egg mixture, whisking the entire time to avoid scrambling the egg. The mixture should be custard-like.
Pour the cream/egg mixture over the croissant mixture and wait for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread is set and the top is golden brown. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
To make the topping, whip the Hood Heavy Cream with the coffee syrup, vanilla extract, sugar, and dissolved espresso powder until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
To serve, dust each piece with sifted confectioner’s sugar and top with whipped cream.
Serving suggestion: Serve with oven baked-bacon or Canadian ham, fresh fruit, and Hood Milk.