100 grams fresh dates (about 6 large), pitted, roughly chopped
½ cup whiskey or other alcohol of choice (such as Kahlúa)
1 tablespoon espresso coffee granules (or one capsule of espresso coffee for your coffee machine)
6 croissants, ripped into thirds
½ cup orange marmalade or apricot jam
3 large eggs, size 7
2 large egg yolks
½ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest 1 small orange
vanilla ice cream or cream
Equipment: 26cm ovenproof baking dish, at least 4cm deep.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Put the dates, whiskey and coffee in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring often, then set aside until just warm. Mash the dates with a fork to make a thick paste.
Arrange the croissants in the baking dish, leaving plenty of edges poking up to go crunchy.
Custard: Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a fork, whisk the date mixture into the custard until evenly combined with no big lumps of date paste.
Spoon the mixture evenly over the croissants and leave to soak for half an hour. Dollop the marmalade or jam over the top.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the custard is set in the middle and the edges are golden and crunchy. If the top is getting too brown and the centre isn’t set, cover loosely with a piece of foil. Rest for 10 minutes then serve with ice cream or cream