My good intentions of January seem to have jinxed me into posting nothing for the next 7 months. Shame on me.
We’ve been caught up in a big move, holidays and friends/family visits, but this hasn’t stopped us from baking and cooking. Please see or follow my Instagram where you can browse through our culinary endeavours: puff pastries, breads, macaroons, and a trip to Japan.
We’ve got so many ideas lined up but so little time. We are very much looking forward to Autumn coming around and things winding down to spent more time baking and cooking.
Speaking of autumn this one is one of my favourite autumn desserts. Sorry for posting it in the middle of Summer!
The bread pudding.
It is unfortunately not the most appealing dessert in looks (painfully NOT photogenic) but it surely makes up for it flavour. It’s brownish jelly-esque texture and appearance is probably the reason why you rarely find this treat outside of quality bakeries (Ye Olde Bakery, Herne Hill) and (Belgian/Dutch) tea-rooms.
It is easy to make with stale bread and cupboard & fridge staples and oh so comforting! On top of that it will hold a long time in the fridge (a week, tried and tested)! Perfect to nibble on with a cup of tea.
Like the rice-pudding this is also a dish you can find around the world, and I am going to share my Belgian version of it. There are posh versions/variations with brioche and saffron, however this is the basic, unpolished, non-glamour, very simple version of it.
The “Belgian” addition is “perenstroop”/ “sirop de Liège” or losely translated “pear syrup”, this dark brown syrupy substance is made by cooking down pear or apples (or both) for a very long time until all liquid has evaporated and the fruit has caramelized. I’ve never seen this product in the UK but if you want the same hint of flavour I suggest adding a teaspoon of treacle.
Ingredients (makes a generous loaf):
- stale bread
- of custard powder
- 1 tbsp. of pear syrup or 1tsp of treacle
- 1 tsp. of allspice
- 2 tsp. of cinnamon
- dark muscovado sugar
- 1 litre of milk +125ml
- 1 egg yolk
- Cut up the bread (crust and all) in small pieces and put in large saucepan.
- Cover with 1 litre of milk and push all the bread down so it soaks up the milk. Leave it for 5 to 10 min.
- Preheat the oven at 180 °C
- Line a big loaf tin (1.5L) with baking paper.
- But the saucepan on a low heat, add the sugar, syrup and spices. Stir regularly so the mixture doesn’t stick to bottom and the bread pieces come apart.
- Meanwhile dissolve the custard powder in the 125ml of milk.
- When your mixture is starting to get warm but not too hot, add the egg yolk and stir well.
- Followed by the custard mix.
- Continue stirring until the mixture is gently starting to bubble and you are getting a lot of resistance stirring around.
- Transfer the mixture to the tin and place on the lowest rack of your oven.
- Cook for 1 hour.
- Leave to cool in the oven for an hour or so. The mixture is going to look very wobbly still, but don’t panic, the mixture is going to set while cooling.
- Once cooled, transfer to a plate and set in the fridge for two hours at least.
- Make a cup of tea, cut yourself a slice, relax and enjoy!