These puddings can be made with another liquor such as Grand Marnier or dark rum, or without alcohol if need be – just substitute orange juice.
½ cup strong espresso coffee
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons whiskey
3 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1½ cups cream
4 cups day old croissants or brioche, cubed
Combine the hot espresso and 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the whiskey and set aside to cool.
Combine the eggs, yolks and the ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl and stir in the cream. Add the cooled espresso mixture and combine well.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Divide the brioche between 4 x 325 ml baking dishes. Pour over the cream, ensuring all the bread is well soaked. Keep adding the cream until it has all been absorbed. Place the puddings in a roasting dish and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Allow the puddings to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
To serve: Place the puddings on a small plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with mascarpone or softly whipped cream.