Vanilla Brioche and Butter Pudding
(This was supposed to be posted slightly over a week after our brioche recipe. By posting it now, I just made it look like we kept our brioche loaf for a month. That, my friends, is not humanly possible.)
There is something about bread and butter puddings that invoke an image of cuddly warm hugs and being wrapped in layers of soft quilts. Its probably just the buttery goodness in every mouthful – so much calories but too good to not sin. Best eaten after a hearty meal… don’t ask me why, I just love adding more guilt. Plus, it only proves that there’s always space for dessert. Every time Ned and I start talking about bread and butter puddings, we get a little too crazy like flustered cockroaches upside down (okay, that was not a very good reference but you get the picture).
We shall be very honest and confess that we made too much brioche for one reason: to make a huge serving of brioche and butter pudding. Yes, like a pair of cunning witches, we actually set aside a loaf of brioche and waited for it to become prey to eggy heaven. The best part was smelling butter in the air as it bakes in the oven. Nothing beats the fragrance of melting butter. Is it disgusting for us to love butter so much? We especially love hard cold butter stuffed into warm crusty bread.
Strangely, our brioche and butter pudding became a tad too dry when it came out of the oven. The bowl that was used was a little too wide, causing the custardy mixture to dry up and the top layer of bread to overcook. Despite the oversight in serveware, the flavours came out perfectly fine. The bottom layer of brioche had soaked up the rum and the essences of vanilla. In fact, it was a rather interesting pudding with a crusty top and a firm but custardy bottom (no, not soggy). Serve it with cream or homemade custard for added calories.
At the end, my only real complaint was that we should have added more butter. Well, I’ll just wait for Ned to make a Croissant and Butter pudding then.
Vanilla Brioche and Butter Pudding
Adapted from Felicity Cloake
Serves 8 (or 2 greedy girls)
100g currants, raisins or sultanas
6 tablespoon brandy or rum
400ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
Zest of 1 lemon
50g unsalted butter
16 slices of stale brioche
4 tablespoon caster sugar
200ml double cream
2 tablespoon demerara sugar
Nutmeg, to grate
Place the dried fruits into a cup and pour over the alcohol to cover. Cover tightly and leave to soak overnight.
The next day, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk, then add the vanilla bean pod to the milk in a saucepan. Bring close to a simmer over low heat, then remove from heat, add the lemon zest and allow to cool. Remove vanilla pod from the milk.
Butter the brioche and your baking dish and arrange half of the slices in overlapping rows inside. Beat the eggs together with the sugar until well mixed. Add the milk and cream into the egg mixture. Pour a little more than half over the bread, add the soaked fruits and leave for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Arrange the rest of the bread in a second layer in the baking dish and drizzle over the rest of the custard. Scatter with demerara sugar and grate some nutmeg over the top.
Place in a roasting tin and fill the roasting tin halfway with water to make a bain marie. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown. You may need to use a aluminum foil to cover the pudding to prevent it from turning brown too fast. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.