You know when you’re really excited about something and it’s hard to sit still and focus? Well that’s how I’m feeling today. So I’ll keep it short and sweet.
What’s all the excitement about?
First of all it’s my Birthday this week!
To continue the Stonesoup tradition I started last year, I have some treats in store for you!
Plus I’m going to be celebrating this year by having a long boozy lunch with my Irishman at Noma in Copenhagen – currently rated the best restaurant in the world. Which of course means a trip to the Northern Hemisphere.
So while we’re in the neighborhood, we’re going to visit my Irishman’s family in Limerick and also have a few days exploring Paris and Rome. Can’t wait!
But enough about me let’s get to the treat…
the Birthday cake
I started thinking about my birthday cake for this year over 3 months ago. I wanted it to be something special and of course insanely delicious. I also wanted it to be something new and different and of course be super easy to make and 5 ingredients or less.
Big ask. Right?
I wasn’t sure I’d find something to fit all the criteria. Then one Saturday night I made a bread and butter pudding for dessert which was lovely as expected. For some reason we went to bed without putting the leftovers in the fridge.
Anyway, the next morning there was the leftover pudding in all it’s super moist glory sitting out in the kitchen. I just had to have a little sneaky taste. Which of course led to another.
I can still remember the custardy, creamy cakey goodness. And then it hit me… if I tweaked a few things, added a little chocolate and baked the pudding in a loaf pan, it would make the most amazing cake.
And I was right!
croissant surprise birthday cake
This cake is every bit as delicious as it looks – maybe more so. When I was editing the photos just now, I had a strong urge to bake it again even though I should be packing and writing to you. It’s that good (if I do say so myself).
If you’re wondering about the ‘surprise’ it’s all about a hidden layer of rich dark chocolate.
600mL (2.5 cups) whipping cream (35% milk fat)
100g (3.5oz) sugar
3 large croissants
small handful dark chocolate, broken into chunks
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line the base and sides of a loaf pan with baking paper.
2. Combine cream eggs and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Slice croissants into rounds about 1cm (1/2in) thick. Add to the cream mixture and stand for a few minutes allowing the croissants to soak up the custard.
4. Layer half the soaked croissants in the prepared loaf pan. Scatter over the chocolate.
5. Layer remaining croissants over the top and pour any leftover custard on top.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cake is well browned and you can’t see any liquid custard when you press on the top. Cool in the tin.
diary-free – replace the croissants with about 8 thick slices of bread and replace the cream with coconut cream.
milk chocolate – I love the dark chocolate version but I’m happy to report that it’s also lovely, if a little sweeter using milk chocolate.
vegan/ egg-free – Sorry! The eggs are really needed for texture and flavour here.
vanilla / chocolate-free – skip the chocolate and add the seeds of 1 vanilla bean to the cream mixture.
boozy – replace some of the cream with Baileys.
individual – divide mixture between 4-5 large ramekins. Should only take 15-20 minutes to bake.
video version of the recipe
Ohh… and if you have any tips for places to eat (or shop) in Paris, Copenhagen, Rome or Ireland, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!