So lets sum up this week in a nutshell:
• The Captain made too much brioche. Not entirely the biggest dilemma in the world, mind you.
• The Captain moaned to me about leftover brioche that was going to go to waste unless I do something with it quicksmart. Hmph.
• Spring has disappeared faster than a keg at a frat party. Double hmph.
• Winter-type cravings for warm desserts have returned with a vengeance.
• Two birds have been killed with one stone on this one night with the baking of a Apple and Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding.
Actually make that a bird massacre, because I also had an oversupply of apples and cartons of cream that I needed to get rid of. Normally I’d be freaked out by this classic British dessert because I hate soggy bread and my soul has been drained one too many times by bad puds. But things are different here. The method of toasting the bread into croutons is genius because it means less sogginess and gives this pudding an awesome crispy top. While the liberal sprinkling of demerara sugar provides an extra sweet crunch, as well as another delicious distraction from the thought of ‘soggy bread’.
Obviously using a brioche in this pudding is so much more awesome than normal bread (buttery vs white – no competition!). But if you don’t have old brioche on hand then a spicy raisin loaf would be perfect. Either way, it must be stale. Fresh bread will only implode on itself in one mushy bread nightmare. Btw, if a white bread and butter pudding isn’t your thing, then perhaps a chocolate alternative is up your alley?
Now if only I can figure out what to do with my massive stockpile of baby carrots… (and no, a carrot pudding isn’t a tempting option but thank you for your suggestion).
Apple and Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding
Half a brioche loaf or slices of thick raisin bread
2 small Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (peeled if you like)
35g raisins or sultanas, soaked overnight in 20ml of Grand Marnier
350ml pouring cream
80g caster sugar
40ml Grand Marnier (can be replaced with brandy)
Demerara Sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180°C. Trim the brioche/raisin loaf crusts and cut into 1.5 cm cubes. Place the brioche cubes in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for around 5-10 minutes, shaking tray occasionally, until toasted and golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 160°C. Divide the brioche amongst 4 lightly greased oven-proof ramekins or small baking dishes. Wedge apple slices and scatter raisins in between the brioche cubes.
Whisk eggs, cream, milk, sugar and Grand Marnier in a bowl until combined and pour over brioche, leaving some mixture behind. Stand for 10-15 minutes while the brioche asorbs all that beautiful custard. Top up with remaining custard and scatter over the demerara sugar. Bake for around 15 minutes or until custard is firm and brioche is golden. Stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller with love.