Friday 20 April 2007

chocolate bread & butter pudding

My absolute favourite kinds of desserts are warm and include chocolate.

I admit that I adore tangy passionfruit pannacottas and cold mandarine jellies, but in the end, if you want to woo me then make it warm and make it cocoa!

This dish is also my celebration of Fish & Quips, which is part of an international campaign to prove that English food is no joke.

Gone are the days when French Presidents can claim English cooking is a crime against humanity (not mentioning any names, Monsieur Chirac, oopps).

Some of the best restaurants in the world reside in the UK, which says something about a well developed English palate. The mass influx of migrants from spice-rich regions means British folk have moved beyond “steak and three veg” and I think it’s about time we recognised and celebrated this fact.

England has brought us a unique and interesting selection of meals including: Bangers & Mash, Toad in the Hole, Spotted Dick, Yorkshire Pudding, Shephards Pie, Devonshire Tea, Trifles, Rhubarb Crumble, Christmas Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Clotted Cream and Fruit Mince Pies. Not to mention some of the world’s most famous cheeses Red Leicester, Stilton and Cheddar.

My particular recipe is an adaptation of one of England’s (and the world's) first TV chefs, Delia Smith. These days may be a symbol of upper-middle class society, but in her own target market she was as innovative and creative as Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay (also English).

This was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had and it made me weak at the knees.

I used Cape Seed Loaf from Baker’s Delight, a wonderful fruit bread full of sticky apricots, nuts, grains and seeds. I also switched Delia’s rum for some Pedro Ximenez sherry (not very English of me) since I think this rich, raisiny sherry goes so well with chocolate. And of course I increased, ever so slightly, the amount of chocolate in the recipe. As always.

It’s not for the faint hearted – it’s incredibly rich – and it’s not for the weight conscious – as you’ll gain kilos by just looking at it – but it is for those who want warmth, texture and chocolaty goodness in their lives. Perfect for the approaching cold seasons descending on the Southern Hemisphere.

Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding 

My version of Delia Smith's version of Larkin Warren’s version. Serves 6.

9 large slices fruit bread, left uncovered overnight
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
75g butter
425ml pouring cream
4 tablespoons Pedro Ximenez sherry
110 g (4oz) caster sugar
good pinch cinnamon
3 large eggs

1. Lightly butter an ovenproof dish 7 x 9 inches (18 x 23 cm) base x 2 inches (5 cm) deep.
2. Cut each piece of bread into 10cm squares and then into triangles.
3. Place the chocolate, cream, sherry, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a Bain Marie then melt the butter and chocolate and completely dissolve the sugar. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir to combine.
4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs then add the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously to blend.
5. Spread a 1cm layer of sauce over the base of the baking dish. Arrange half the bread triangles in overlapping rows. Pour over half the chocolate mixture. Arrange the rest of the bread then pour over the remaining chocolate sauce. Press the bread down with a fork to ensure even absorption of the sauce.
6. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Transfer to the fridge for 24 – 48 hours before cooking.
7. Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F). Bake for 30-35 minutes: the top should be crunchy and the inside soft.
8. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with well-chilled double cream.

This event will have multiple hosts since anyone who feels up to the challenge will be invited to write a recap.Sam from Becks & Posh is the instigator, so here’s my link back to her!

Tally ho England!



  1. Normally the thought of bread puddings leave me cold - except for 'Summer Pudding'.
    This one, however, with all that luscious chocolate.... Yes, I could definitely ruin my waistline with this one...

  2. Tally ho England indeedy!

    thanks for your entry Anna - I wish I could dive right into that chocolate sauce!




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