*My recipe has appeared in two newspapers besides my blog,the last time was in the UK Sunday Express and here’s a link. Sometimes a recipe idea rolls around in my head for quite a while, other times they wake me up in the middle of the night insisting that I write them down. Other times necessity like a dinner party I’m suppose to cook helps focus and firm up my ideas. Such was the case a couple weeks ago when I was asked to make dessert for a dinner party at my sister’s. The challenge I made for myself was a chocolate bread & butter pudding that was very chocolaty, not too sweet. I wanted to use brown malted bread & prunes soaked in brandy in place of the usual sultanas. To help give the pudding a nice dark chocolaty taste and appearance I let the chocolate custard soak into the bread for 12 hours before baking it. Often bread puddings have too much bread and are disappointingly dry & heavy but not this one, sublime was one of the comments express by a dinner guest & I know he was not referring to my loud silk tie with kippers on it!
160g (6 ½ oz) plain dark chocolate (70% or better)
5 large eggs
400ml (14floz) double (heavy) cream
Few drops vanilla extract
250g (10oz) pitted soft prunes
(optional) 30 ml brandy
6-7 slices multigrain brown bread
75g (3oz) unsalted butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
25 ml (1 ½ Tbsp) cold water
1 small tub crème fraiche
Icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- Lightly butter an ovenproof dish approximately 12 x 8 inches oval dish that is 2 inches deep.
- Cut the prunes in half and soak in the brandy.
- Stir the cinnamon into the butter until it is soft enough to spread.
- Trim the crusts off the bread then gently spread on the cinnamon butter.
- Break the chocolate in pieces into a bowl and melt over simmering water, remove from the heat once the chocolate has melted.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla with the caster sugar for 4 minutes.
- Stir half the cream gradually into the melted chocolate, then stir in the water.
- Now stir in the egg mix then the remaining cream.
- Cut the bread slices into 1/4’s (corner to corner) and place a layer into the buttered dish, butter side up.
- Cover the bread layer with 1/2 of the chocolate mix, then sprinkle on the prunes.
- Make a second layer of the remaining bread; then again cover with other 1/2 of the chocolate mix, making sure all of the bread is well covered.
- Cling wrap the dish and refrigerate for 12 hours to let the bread soak up the chocolate mix and also give the pudding a darker colour.
- Bake in a preheated oven gas mark 4 (180 C) for 35-45 minutes.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve with cold cream or crème fraiche.
Chef’s Tips Allow the pudding to set for about 7-8 minutes before serving. As always when melting chocolate it’s critical not to get it too hot, once the water is simmering turn the heat off, and as soon as the majority of chocolate is melted take the bowl off the water pan. The other critical point is when you add the cream to the chocolate. The chocolate will probably thicken up when you add the first half of cream, and then the water should thin it back down. Let the mix cool for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the egg mix and the rest of the cream.