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Sunday Brunch

LanguedocLiving, Sep 10

Really, what is the point of publishing recipes for French viennoiseries, when they are so readily available from even the most down-beat bakers?  

Delicious little pastries can light up a dreary Sunday morning like nothing else.

In the video below, Géraldine from www.commeunefrancaise.com talks about the different kinds of viennoiseries which are available.  Viennoiseries are croissants and pains au chocolat, but there's a lot more choice than that.  Géraldine explains about the different variations and regional differences, and what to ask for. 

If you do happen to have a few croissants left over, here are some ideas to create delicious nibbles which you can enjoy for brunch on a lazy Sunday.

 

 

Rum custard bake

This is delicious for Sunday brunch, or you can serve it as a pudding. Adding chocolate chips is also very nice, but even more naughty.  

Ingredients:

2 stale croissants
100g sugar
tablespoon water
125ml cream
125ml milk
2 tablespoons rum
2 large eggs

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF.

Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish with the capacity of around half a litre.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and gently dissolve the sugar., then heat over a medium to high heat.

Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away, without stirring, until it turns a deep amber colour – around 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t be distracted and leave it, it will easily burn.

Turn the heat down to low and add the cream, milk and bourbon. Keep whisking. Any solids that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over low heat. Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs. Voila, you have a caramel custard.

Pour the custard over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Cheesy bake 

If the idea of a sweet Sunday brunch doesn’t appeal, what about this one which is a savory cheese bake made with left over croissants.  You can add what ever you have in the fridge, but this one includes mushrooms, ham and spring onions. 

Plan ahead, and prepare this the night before.

Ingredients:

4 stale croissants
1 tablespoon butter
250g sliced mushrooms
1 bunch of spring onions, washed, trimmed and sliced (about 6)
4 large eggs
250ml milk
8 thin slices of baked ham
2 cups of your favourite hard cheese (cantal is good)
¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese 

Method:

Butter a large rectangular glass casserole dish.

Split the croissants in half horizontally and place the bottom halves into the bottom of the casserole dish, cut side up. Reserve the tops.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan or skillet. Once it begins to foam add the mushrooms and cook, without disturbing, until they begin to brown. Add the spring onions and cook until both are tender, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Beat together the eggs and the milk. Pour half of this mixture over the croissant halves in the baking dish. Top the croissants with the mushroom/onion mixture, ham and cheeses, dividing equally amongst the 4 croissants. Lay the top halves of the croissants on top, cut side down, and then pour the remainder of the egg mixture over all. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning take out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the eggs are set and cooked through. Serve immediately. Delicious!

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