Monday 9 September 2013

Belleau Kitchen #randomrecipes challenge - puddings, cakes and bakes

I discovered Belleau Kitchen's Random Recipes challenge last month but, as we were visiting family, didn't get a chance to join in. I was determined to play along this month though so I was excited to see that the theme was Puddings, Cakes and Bakes.

I went to pluck my random recipe book off the shelves and was delighted to see that it was The Hairy Bikers' Family Cookbook - "Mum Knows Best!", a brand new recipe book that I picked up on special offer a couple of weeks ago and have yet to use.

I flicked to a random page near the end of the book (where most pudding and cake recipes lurk) and landed on the ultimate traditional British dessert, Bread & Butter Pudding. It's a dish that I was well aware of - I've no doubt my Nan cooked it all the time during the war ! - but one that seemed archaic and outdated to me. Great when food rationing meant that you cooked with whatever you had to hand and didn't waste a scrap but not particularly tasty. How nice can stale bread and custard really be, after all ?! But that's the rules of the challenge so Bread & Butter Pudding it would be !

The recipe is very simple (and would be even simpler using instant custard, but I wasn't going to cheat for the first time I joined in with the challenge !)

Hairy Bikers' Bread & Butter Pudding

ingredients :

8 thick slices of white bread, ideally from an uncut sandwich loaf
75g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
freshly grated nutmeg
150g caster sugar plus 4tbsp for sprinkling
4 large free range egg yolks
2 large free range eggs
300ml double cream
300ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract
100g mixed dried fruit

Cut the crusts off the bread. Put the bread on a tray, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 3-4 hours until slightly dried. (Partly drying the bread helps it absorb the custard.)

Spread one side of each slice of bread with softened butter and sprinkle with a generous grating of nutmeg. Keep 4 slices of bread whole and cut the remaining 4 into triangles. To make the custard, whisk the sugar, egg yolks and whole eggs together in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the cream, milk and vanilla extract.

Butter a 1.75 litre ovenproof dish - a lasagne dish is ideal. Line the dish with the whole slices of bread in one layer, butter side up, and scatter over 3/4 of the dried fruit. Arrange the triangles on top, butter side up and almost standing vertically. Sprinkle the remaining fruit between the triangles as you go.

Give the custard a stir, then pour it slowly over the bread. The bread will float, so press it down gently for a few seconds to help it absorb the custard. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°/gas 4. 

Place the dish in a roasting tin. Pour in enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is just set and the bread is golden brown and crisp on top. Carefully remove the tin from the oven and lift out the pudding. Serve hot with cream or good vanilla ice cream.

Well, it looks VERY similar to the one in the book, although the bread didn't go brown. We all tasted it expecting not to like it, but were all pleasantly surprised and the kids wolfed it down ! I'll definitely be making this again, although I have to admit that I may cheat and used custard powder next time ! This is a great way of using up stale bread and reducing my food waste too.

Jo's Kitchen
Have you cooked a Hairy Bikers' recipe lately? Link up here !

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Quark #SummerDelights Blogger Challenge part 2 : Tropical Frozen Hearts


  1. Nice bread & butter pudding recipe. I love that kind of warming pudding.

    1. I love trying out exotic new dishes, but it's great to get back to basics and rediscover some of the more traditional dishes too :)

  2. wow, what a glorious looking b&b pudding... it's one of my most favourite puddings and such a great way to use up old bread or scones... that's a great book too so a win win for you for your first random recipes... thanks so much for taking part, it's lovely to have new people come along and freshen things up. x

    1. Ooh bread and butter puding with scones must be gorgeous - I've made a mental note of that one !


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