Wednesday, 27 February 2013

POSH BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

I’m about to complicate a very easy pudding, but it is worth it, so hold on. The chef where I work makes this bread and butter pudding which comes out more like cake, which he freezes in wedges to order, not the usual pieces of bread floating in an egg custard. He tightly layers the bread with soaked raisins and sometimes a layer of crushed amoretti biscuits, but you really can add what you like. First when I asked him how to make it said ‘with bread and butter’ then let me in on the secret, and here it is, with a few alterations. I do go further with aesthetic concerns than I normally would do with honest recipes like bread and butter pudding, but this recipe makes you feel like you’re having something different. Plus it’s all optional, if you want to throw it all together, that’s fine too.

100g raisins
A slosh of Brandy, or any alcohol of choice (wine, amaretto ect…)
About 1 tsp mixed spice
50g amoretti biscuits. I couldn’t get these, so I used glace cherries instead, thinly sliced
4 eggs 300ml milk
1tbsp vanilla extract
8 slices of white bread, I used a small uncut loaf so I cut have the slices the sizes I wanted.
A knob of butter

Serves 4

Preheat oven to fan180/200c/6.
 Line the base of a rectangle baking dish big/small enough to fit 2 slices of bread side by side. It would be better if they fit snugly, touching the sides, but I couldn’t even get this so don’t worry.

Begin by heating the raisins, spice and alcohol of choice in a pan, I used brandy. Heat for 5 minutes or so, just to soften the raisins and allow them to soak up more flavour.

Next make the egg custard by whisking together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour into a shallow dish, big enough to soak each slice of bread in it.

Now it’s a simple (or as simple as I can explain it) case of buttering and assembling. You can cut the crusts off, or leave them on. I cut them off of the top and one side of the bread, then layered alternatively to give a striped affect which looks cool, plus the crusts add an extra flavour. Butter all of the bread and soak the first two pieces in the custard mix then lay side by side in the dish to make the base of the pudding. Scatter over a covering of raisins. Now do the next layer, soaking in the custard again, but if you’re doing it like I did, this time arrange the crusts so they lay over each slice of bread where the crust is cut off. Scatter over all of the crushed amoretti biscuits, or as I used, cherries. Soak the next two slices then layer the bread again with the crusts in the same position as the first layer. Scatter over the rest of the raisins and any brandy juice then finish with the final layers of bread, soaked again, with the crusts in the same position as the second layer. Any remaining custard you may have pour over the two, now layered sandwiches, and press down to soak in. Bake for 25 minutes at the bottom of the oven.

Once baked, leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the dish with the baking paper. I like to have the bottom as the top, as it’s more even. Cut the pudding in half, separating back to the 2 separate slices of bread. Then slice diagonally, so you have a cake-like wedge. Serve with custard.

 

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