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Chocolate & Orange Croissant Pudding drizzled with Grand Marnier Cream sauce



This recipe is an old but gold favorite. I've been making it for 11 years and it continues to be one of the most requested recipes from my brother-in-law who lives in Texas and loves making desserts for large crowds.


This is one of those desserts where, "The first bite gives hope, the second lust & by the third you're in love!" I kid you not!


There's not much that can go wrong with this one. The chocolate and orange in the pudding is wonderful together with the buttery softness of the croissants.


The cream sauce incensed with the flavor of oranges and the Grand Marnier liquor with its hint of bitter oranges, vanilla & exotic spices adds just the right touch of complexity to this delicious , creamy, rich sauce. So if you're looking for a dessert that's great for the holidays with flavors that are absolutely yummilicious, look no further!


Not to mention that all the make-ahead tips in the recipe means that you can reheat and serve in time without the stress of a fussy dessert.


warmly

Devaki





Recipe for:

Chocolate & Orange Croissant Pudding + Orange Cream sauce


Shopping list

Pudding:

4 qty, 2-3 days old (stale) large butter croissants - the COSTCO ones work great though

zest of 1 orange, use Microplane zester 6 eggs + 2 egg yolks

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup milk

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup regular white sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste

couple of tbsp. milk if needed to thin out the custard

Grand Marnier Orange Cream sauce: 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier liquor

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar (for the cream) 1/3 cup sugar (for the orange juice)

3 egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste zest of 1 orange, use Microplane zester

Juice of 1 orange

couple of tbsp. milk if needed to thin out the sauce


Garnish:

Blackberries or raspberries

1 tbsp. powdered/confectioners sugar for dusting

sprigs of mint


Preparation: Preheat the oven at 350 deg. F.



Croissants - Slice the croissants horizontally and place cut side up on a baking pan or a baking stone. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 8 minutes until the edges are a nice golden brown.

Using a knife or kitchen shears Cut into 1 " size chunks. Place the croissants in a baking pan sprayed with some non-stick baking spray. Add the chocolate chips and mix till the chocolate chips are well distributed through-out. Set aside.

Custard:

Egg yolks - Take 2 eggs & crack in a bowl, separating the egg yolks from the whites. Oranges - Using a zester, the oranges and reserve separately for the custard and the sauce - immediately covering the bowl with a lid so you don't diffuse the aromatics. Halve and juice the orange and set aside for the sauce below.


Grand Marnier Orange Cream sauce:

Eggs - Crack 3 eggs, separating the egg yolks from the whites. Set aside the whites & place only the egg yolks in a medium sized mixing bowl.


Method:

Custard:



In a small sauce pan, add the heavy cream & the milk with the pure vanilla bean paste. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and set aside to slightly cool.


Whisk the 6 eggs in a mixing bowl until homogenous. Add the sugar and with an electric hand mixer blend for a few minutes till it combined well.


Whisk the cream & milk combination a little at a time into the eggs to temper the eggs and then finally add it all in. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

At this point, pour the cream and egg mixture into a clean sauce pan and whisk continuously for about 7-8 minutes on low heat or until the custard has slightly thickened (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon)


Remove & whisk thoroughly now to make sure that any custard solids that have formed have completely broken down & the custard is smooth.


Cook's Tip: If the custard is a little thick don't worry - add 2 tbsp. milk & whisk until it is a smooth pouring consistency again (as long as it doesn't not look like scrambled eggs in which case you'll have to start over. Yikes)


Pudding:




Pour the custard over the croissants & chocolate. Spread the custard evenly & press down very gently so all the croissants are soaked and covered.


Cook's Tip: Use a light hand because the chocolate would have melted with the heat from the croissant and the custard and you will end up with excessive marbling if you push down hard & bring the chocolate to the surface.



Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the center has just set. Do not over bake or you will end up with a dry pudding.


Grand Marnier Orange sauce:




In a small sauce pan, heat the orange juice and 1/3 cup sugar on medium heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until it has been reduced by 1/3 its original quantity.





In a separate large sauce pan, combine the cream & pure vanilla bean paste. Bring to boil and immediately turn off the heat. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir to melt. Strain before using to get rid of the skim layer.


In a mixing bow, using an electric beater, beat the egg yolks & the sugar till is is pale & frothy. Add 1/4 of the heated cream into the eggs to temper the eggs & beat with a whisk.


Return this mixture to the remaining cream in the saucepan. On very low flame ('0' setting if you have it) begin whisking the sauce. Keep whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened. Do not allow to boil.


Add the orange juice reduction & the rind to the thickened sauce. Keep whisking on very low heat till the desired consistency is reached. Once again, do not boil.





The sauce has reached desired consistency once it coats the back of the spoon and leaves a mark when you draw a finger through the sauce. You are not looking for a very thick Mornay sauce consistency. Turn off heat and add the Grand Marnier liquor. Stir to combine.


Remove to a serving bowl or boat & once it has cooled, refrigerate till chilled. If you are serving this for dinner, make the sauce earlier in the day or the previous evening.


To reheat the pudding, bake the entire dish for 15 minutes in an oven preheated at 300 deg. F or plate each serving with a square slice and microwave for about a minute or so till warm.


To Serve:

Pool the sauce around the pudding. Using a sieve, dust some powdered sugar over the pudding & around the plate. Serve with a couple of fresh berries & a sprig of mint.


Cook's Tip: Once the sauce is chilled it will thicken considerably. If needed Add 1-2 tbsp. of milk & blend with a fork till it has once again reached pouring consistency.

Also when the sauce is hot it will taste quite sweet but once you chill it the sweetness will reduce. If at this point you want to add more sugar, use powdered sugar only - 1 tsp at a time. Feel free to add more liquor if you choose as well.

Enjoy!




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