Friday, September 18, 2009

Quick And Dirty Dessert

Desserts, so far as I'm concerned, serve one major purpose: they are used to bribe small children into eating properly.

Not every dinner needs to have a dessert, no. And most nights, if they're pining for some post-dinner treat, you can either tell 'em that they should have eaten more of their nasi goreng if they're still hungry, or offer 'em a piece of fruit.

But it pays to keep the little bastards off balance, so a repertoire of easy, tasty desserts that you can pull out of your sleeve at short notice is incredibly valuable. Once, maybe twice a week, you listen to the inevitable barrage of complaints about whatever you've put on the table... then you arch an eyebrow, shrug, and say "Oh, well. I suppose you won't be wanting any dessert, either."

Heh. I admit it. I love watching the conflict on their faces at that point.

Anyway, last night was one of those nights. We had another long day of rain and fog, kids trapped indoors. They were pretty well behaved on the whole. We put up some insulation in the shed. There was practice of musical instruments. There was extensive dishwashing and laundry. There was Wii gaming, and reading of books. And come dinner, Elder Son asked about dessert.

Well, I hadn't planned anything. But I did have a few croissants, and some dark cooking chocolate.

The French do this thing they like to call petite pain aux chocolat. The Yanks call it a chocolate-filled croissant. I like to use the nancified French label just to see my kids try to wrap their heads around it. But the truth is that it's so quick and so deadly simple to do that it's almost an embarrassment -- except that it tastes marvellous.

You slit your croissants. You stuff in three or four squares of good dark chocolate. You wrap the pastries in foil to prevent burning, and put 'em in a moderate oven for about five to eight minutes.

When they come out, the croissants are soft and moist, and the chocolate has melted into a divinely gooey mess. It's absolutely fantastic -- and the kids will line up and jump through flaming hoops for it. You could probably get creative, pair it up with some sliced fruit and whipped cream or whatever... but why bother?

Melted chocolate. Warm puff pastry. It doesn't get better than this.


  1. Guess i'l keep experimenting then in anticipation of getting a rug rat. Right now if i see any recipe that contains the word "egg" i'm on it. I have that many duck eggs at the moment.

    Have you ever made croissants Flinty?

  2. Hmmm wish I had some croissants right now.