Candied Ginger & Custard Croissants

Friday, 4 September 2015

Another school year has started. Uniforms ready, shoes shining, backpacks loaded.

My 3,5 years old is starting his second year at pre-school. He loves it. We originally requested part time sessions for him last year, but after a couple of months we had to put him full time as he was getting really upset to be missing all the exciting things that were happening as soon as we picked him up. He has been asking when is he starting pre-school again all summer.

 My 5 years old is starting year 1. He doesn't like changes much. He likes school, but I don’t think is really looking forward to it. The unknown makes him feel anxious.

I remember how much I loved going to school when I was a child. Summer looked such a long time and I ended up being really bored to be at home. I loved studying, playing with my friends and being busy doing crafts, maths, and reading. But one day, that changed.

I was a quite precocious child. I read and wrote quite early, and started reading novels and poetry with just 6 or 7 years. I was good at maths and loved physics. But I was a really active child. Probably, and if I would have born now, a hyper active child.

I remember feeling physically sick every morning. I had friends, that was not the problem. There were a couple of bullies, but nothing really serious (that I remember). But sitting in a desk for 8 hours looking at the blackboard and listening how an old fashioned teacher ordered us to do this and that was absolutely mortifying, boring, annoying and, over all, not worth it. I had a passion for knowledge, and devoured documentaries and encyclopaedias, talking to my parents nonstop about whatever I learned that day. I was just unable to fit in that school system. And nobody was able to realise how miserable and frustrated I was feeling.

So I got labelled. I was lazy, I was useless, I was a clown. I was called this kind of things every day. Every. Single. Day.

We spend so many time at school that it is really important to feel that it is worth it. In this competitive world we have is easy to get lost in the I-have-the-best-son race. And with the cuts in funds for education, teacher’s roles are getting more and more challenging. But we both, parents and teachers, need to make an extra effort not only to make sure the students fulfil the in-year curriculum, but to invest enough energy and resources  in understanding the individual needs of the children we look after.

Once I was told to write down 500 times the seven times table. What a waste of my precious childhood time. I’m still unable to say it loud voice. I just can’t. However, a couple of years later I learnt HTML language all by myself in a couple of weeks, creating my first website with 14 years old back in 1995.

So this year, before you take a picture of your son or daughter in the front door with their shiny uniform, make sure you are sending a happy, confident and resilient child who will enter school and will become a happy, confident and resilient adult able to contribute to make this world a better place for everyone.

This week I've made an extra special lunch box treat for my boys. These croissants are easy to prepare and will put a smile in any ginger lover’s face.


1 All Butter Puff Pastry Roll
50gr Candied Ginger Pieces
120gr Custard
1 Egg
3tbsp Icing Sugar
50gr Dark Cooking Chocolate


Heat the oven to 170C.

Lightly flour your work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet then lightly dust top with flour. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the sheet into a square.

Cut pastry square in half then cut each half in two rectangles as in the picture below. Now, cut each rectangle diagonally into two triangles (making 16 triangles).

Place a couple of ginger pieces and a dollop of custard. Then, starting at the wider end, roll each triangle up. Place each croissant seam-side down so that the tip of the triangle is tucked under the rolled croissant. Then, bend in the edges, creating a crescent shape. 

Beat the egg in a bowl and lightly brush tops of croissants with it. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and let the croissants to cool down.

Finally, melt the chocolate and pour over the croissants creating lines.

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