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Joachim Splichal
Chocolate Croissant Pudding With Wild Turkey Sauce
Recipe by Joachim Splichal of Patina

Yield: Serves 6

Wild Turkey Sauce

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Wild Turkey liqueur

In a small saucepan, combine the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 5 minutes, then strain out the vanilla pod. In an electric mixer or with a whisk, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar until the mixture is pale and thickened. Pour about a quarter of the hot milk into the egg-yolk mixture and mix until well combined, then return the yolk mixture to the pan with the rest of the milk and, over medium-low heat, stir continuously until thickened. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Strain it through a strainer into a clean pan and add Wild Turkey liqueur, to taste. Cool the sauce and refrigerate, covered, until chilled.

Croissants

  • 4 croissants, cut in half horizontally

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toast the croissant halves until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes, watching carefully so that they do not burn. Remove from the oven and when cool, break the croissants up into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Custard

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and the vanilla bean together over medium-high heat. Bring the cream to just below boiling point, then remove it from the heat and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain out the vanilla pod. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is pale and thickened. Gradually whisk the warm cream into the egg yolks and then return the mixture to a clean saucepan. Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture up to just below a boil, stirring all the time until thickened, and immediately remove it from the heat.

Finishing

  • 8 ounces bittersweet bakers chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Arrange an equal amount of toasted croissant pieces in each of six 8-ounce ramekins or ovenproof bowls. Distribute the chocolate chunks evenly among the ramekins. Spoon the warm custard over the mixture, pressing down with a fork to be sure all the pieces of croissant are soaked in the custard, and cover each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and pour in enough very hot water to come halfway up their sides. Bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just set, then pierce the foil with a toothpick to release the steam and let stand for 5 minutes before removing the rest of the foil. (Note: At this stage you could cool and refrigerate the puddings for several hours or overnight. Warm them through in a 400-degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.)

Dust the top of each warm pudding with a little powdered sugar and serve the chilled sauce in a sauceboat on the side.


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