Monday, February 20, 2012

London Cravings: Bread and Butter Pudding

So maybe for other people bread and butter pudding is a staple or a basic dessert or something their mother made them or something they tried once, but for me it's a London memory. When I get all gooey and miss London, I also think of bread and butter pudding.

I had never, ever tried it until my 22nd birthday. Nicole made a large sheet of it, which I refused to stop eating even though A) it was hot, B) I was drinking rum, and C) I didn't have utensils. Hands in. Eventually they got me away from it, but it was a perfect breakfast the next morning and became the staple for when all our feminine hormones were running wild.

Which, you'll understand, since we start off with this lovely selection of chopped Cadbury chocolate, typically Dairy Milk. A bar or two will work, depending on how chocolatey you want it. Chocolate chips work as well.

The oven should be preheated to around 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your oven (We had it 200 degrees Celsius). You should have a brownie type pan, either a 9x13 or a square one. We had the rectangle one in London with edges that weren't straight up and down, but Nicole said it worked better in her larger square one at home. Make sure this pan is sprayed with something so the chocolate and everything doesn't stick.

Layer the bottom of the pan with around 6 slices of white bread (you can use others, but Nicole suggests white) cut into quarters. Although some of the sides may overlap it will bake fuller if they're in a single layer and will rise more like a cake. If you want more bread and don't care how it looks, feel free to have around a quarter of an inch of each piece on top of the others. Ours was a little more haphazard due to our excitement and need for speed (as you can see on the right).

In a large bowl mix together half a cup of heavy cream, 2 cups of milk, 3 eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Once mixed dump that on top of the pan full of bread and make sure it gets across the entire pan. You'll want to shift it around or press any pieces down to try and get it all to soak up into the bread. Sprinkle chocolate on top and let it sit for around 10 minutes. We were always in a rush to eat it, so we never let it get that way, but it'll cook more evenly if soaked into the bread.

Then dust the top evenly with granulated sugar and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes or until it's nice and golden brown.

You can serve it up in slices or sit with your good friends and eat it straight from the pan with spoons. Just be careful, it's hot! The best parts are the gooey bits where the chocolate has pooled together when it melted. You'll get a rush of sugar there. You can also do a raisin and rum version with cinnamon and nutmeg - just take out the chocolate.

Now go and enjoy a taste of my London experience.

- Mollie

For easier access...

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe:

- about 6 slices of bread (white preferred, but feel free to experiment with the flavors you love)
- 1/2 cup heavy/double cream
- 2 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 to 2 bars of chocolate or chocolate chips (depending on preference)
- granulated sugar

1) Chop up bars of chocolate (if you did bars). Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.
2) Coat brownie pan with cooking spray, can be 13x9 or square.
3) Quarter the slices of bread and place in a layer on the pan.
4) Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Once completely mixed pour on top of bread in the pan, coating the bread as evenly as possible.
5) Sprinkle chopped chocolate or chocolate chips evenly across pan. Let this rest for around 10 minutes.
6) Dust a layer of granulated sugar across the top of pan.
7) Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just golden brown.

8) Devour

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