I always like to keep a stock of ingredients that allow to make a dinner for unexpected guests which is quick and uncomplicated but still has that ‘wow’ factor. I have a habit of regularly looking through my recipes (this one is from Gourmet Traveller magazine) and stocking up on items that I see that will be useful. For example, I always keep croissants in the freezer; I haave a good stock of dark chocolate, some long life cream, passata, tinned tomatoes, olives and so the list goes on. This is one of those sweet dishes that is quick and easy to put together and it can be in the oven while you are eating your main course, I prefer to use croissants in bread and butter type puddings and this dish really highlights exactly how good they are. It tastes wonderful hot and cold, or just warm and instead of making your own marmalade, as in this recipe, you can always use store bought marmalade of your choice. I like this one because the orange and lemon marmalade gives a sensational edge to the richness of the chocolate.
Chocolate and marmalade croissant pudding
560g butter croissants (about 4), halved horizontally
50g softened butter
80g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
400 ml milk
400 ml pouring cream
125g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 oranges, unpeeled, thinly sliced
1 lemon, unpeeled, thinly sliced
250 ml orange juice
700g white sugar
For marmalade, combine orange, lemon, orange juice and 500ml water in a wide saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, cook until fruit is tender (5-6 minutes), add sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir occasionally until thick (20-25 minutes), then set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 180C. Spread cut-sides of croissants with butter, then with marmalade. Layer croissants, cut-side up, in a buttered 3-litre baking dish, overlapping slightly. Scatter with chocolate.
Whisk milk, cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla paste in a bowl to combine, pour over croissants, cover and refrigerate until croissants absorb milk mixture (30 minutes). Bake until custard sets and pudding is puffed and golden brown (30-35 minutes). Serve hot.