Sunday, 21 February 2010

Traditional Pud with a Twist

Conscious of the amount of food wasted in this country I try wherever possible to use up all of our leftovers and mostly do this quite successfully. However the one area where I struggle to avoid waste is with the common loaf.

A standard loaf of bread proves to much for the two of us and, more often than not, is stale before we're half way through it. Freeze it in two halves I hear you cry, but I have a small freezer and to fill it with bread would be wasteful. So with my conscience pricking me I have made a bread and butter pudding for our meal tonight...a pudding with a twist...

Boozy Bread and Butter Pudding
Serves 4

butter, for greasing
castor sugar
4 thick slices of stale bread, cubed
3 tbsp apricot preserve, heated to make a glaze
a good handful of sultanas, soaked in 3 tbsp Port for at least 2 hours

Creme Anglaise
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp castor sugar
16 fl ozs milk
1 tbsp Port

Butter the inside of the dish you will be using to bake the pudding and then dust with castor sugar. I used my favourite 6" pie dish.

Make the creme anglaise by beating the egg yolks and sugar together in a large measuring jug. Heat the milk until almost boiling and then add to the egg mixture beating all the time. Return the egg mixture to the pan and heat gently until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Note: the custard will be quite liquid at this point, do not allow the custard to boil or the eggs will scramble. Leave to cool and when cool stir in the tbsp of Port. Set aside.

Spoon the apricot preserve into the bottom of the dish. Then add the cubed bread, sultanas and custard in layers until you have used up all the ingredients. Leave the mixture to settle.

Heat the oven to 180C. Put the dish in a roasting tin and fill the tin 3/4 full with boiling water (a bain marie). Sprinkle a little demerara sugar over the pudding and bake in the oven for 10 mins then turn the heat down to 160C and continue to bake for another 15-20 mins. Remove from the oven, the pudding will continue to cook in the bain marie. Wait 5 mins and then serve with single cream or creme fraiche.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

More Chocolate Consolation

Well, it's been a while since I posted much to do, so little time.

Anyway whilst sorting through my emails I came upon this recipe from my elder son G - he's turning into quite a baker! I haven't managed to try it out yet but am planning on making it for a weekend away with my special girlfriends in March - probably should have a test run before then...

In the meantime here's G's recipe and his photo of the result...

Chocolate Goo Cake
oil for greasing
300g dark chocolate, broken in pieces
150g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
6 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
3. Whisk the yolks with two tablespoons of the sugar until pale and light. Stir in cooled melted chocolate.
4. Whip the whites until they resemble soft peaks and gradually whisk in the remaining sugar.
5. Gently stir one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture followed by the remainder. Transfer the cake mixture into the tin.
6. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven, until just firm to the touch. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out and transferring to a wire rack.
(It states 20 minutes but I ended up cooking mine for around 30 minutes until firm to touch)
7. Leave to cool.

I found leaving it over night allowed it to set properly, although you can eat it once cooled that day it tends to crumble quite a bit.

For the chocolate coating
200ml double cream
200g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
25g butter

To make the chocolate coating, bring the double cream to the boil in a pan. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until melted then pour in the heated double cream, mixing together well.

You then have a couple of choices to choose from to serve the cake.
1. Serve cake with the warm chocolate sauce to be poured over the cake with a little double cream.
2. Spread the chocolate coating over the cooled cake using a palette knife or spoon. Allow to cool and set, then serve.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Offline for a Time

Just to let you know that I've been off-line for a while now...will be returning soon...

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