I have never been one for bread and butter pudding. There, I said it.
Soaking scrag ends of several loaves of bread into milk or water to form a wet, sloppy, bread crumb and then squeezing out the excess liquid to form a type of masa before mixing in raisins, cinnamon, lemon zest and sprinkling Demerara sugar over before baking in a moderate oven, has never really been my thing.
I mean, I totally get the whole minimising food waste and environmental impact. In essence, bread pudding is a reincarnation of French toast (pain perdu) which I really like but soggy bread and I are not the best of friends.
However, having said that, in New Orleans I tried a tropical, boozy pineapple and coconut bread pudding soused with piña colada mix. And I hate to admit it but I was converted with one mouthful!
The idea that anything could be used to form the base: croissants, two-day old bread, pastries, fruit cake etc and you could add any liquid component you wanted as long as the egg custard mix would set your pudding meant that you were in total control of the texture and consistency as well as the flavour direction of the final product.
Suddenly bread pudding became exciting.
My sister-in-law was gifted a tower of treats with a panettone loaf cake in its bottom tier but as we soon found out, not many people are keen on panettone – is it bread or cake? It’s too dry to be cake but not doughy enough to be bread. What do you have it with? How do you slice it? How do you serve it? Are those raisins and bits of candied peel? Not surprisingly, some people don’t seem to be too keen on those either! Pandoro (raisin and candied peel removed) isn’t met with better response.
But following Gino D’Acampo’s advice, instead of wasting it and throwing it out, we used the panettone very successfully to make a panettone bread pudding.
To make Gino D’Acampo’s Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding you will need:
1 panettone cake
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2 tbsps caster sugar
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsps marsala
400ml whole milk
100ml double cream
Splash of vanilla extract
Ricotta and honey to serve
1st: Mix the eggs, yolks and caster sugar together.
2nd: Add the honey, vanilla, marsala, milk and double cream. Whisk but not too vigorously. Set aside.
3rd: Slice the panettone cake into inch thick slices and arrange in an oven proof dish with the sides sticking up.
4th: Ladle the eggy mixture over the panettone slices until the bread has soaked up most of the liquid. Allow the mixture to soak into the panettone before placing in the oven. NB You may not need all the mixture.
5th: Sprinkle Demerera sugar all over the top.
6th: Bake in an oven at 160ºC for 25mins until top is browned and crunchy. Dust with icing sugar. Serve with ricotta and honey.
Might need to run to the supermarket and buy a panettone before the end of the season just to make this again!
Happy New Year everybody.