My good friend Sharon Stein shared this recipe with me a while back.  I knew by looking at it how wonderful it would be.   The original recipe called for a cornstarch-thickened caramel sauce, but I've changed it to reflect a true caramel sauce, as well as substituting blueberries for the raisins...exquisite!

Croissant Bread Pudding
with Brandy Cream Sauce

Source:  South African Gourmet Food and Wine by Myrna Rosen and Lesley Loon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease a 9 X 11" casserole dish.  Place half the croissants in the dish; sprinkle with raisins, and then top with remaining croissants.

Beat the eggs till light, gradually adding the sugar until thick. Whisk in milk, cream, brandy, melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.  Pour mixture over the croissants, cover, and leave to absorb in the refrigerator for an hour or so (up to a day in advance).

Before baking, bring to room temperature.  Dot with butter (I didn't) and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.  Bake 40 minutes.

Serve immediately with sauce.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and water and stir until boiling and sugar has dissolved.  Add cream, vanilla, and cornstarch paste and stir until thickened,  Lastly, add brandy.

Sauce can be made in advance and reheated just before serving.

Serves 8

The nice thing about this is that you can do everything in advance, and bake it while you are eating the main course.