Let me begin with a simple teatime treat that I religiously prepare every month – for the simple reason that there’s always bread leftover that’s near expiry and there aren’t that many stray birds to feed em to. The traditional Bread & Butter Pudding is an inexpensive excuse of creating an indulgent treat in less time than it takes to get dressed to head to the nearby cafe.
The recipe dates back to the Elizabethan era and was, in its previous life, called the Devonshire White Pot. It’s quite interesting to note that back then, recipes were written in paragraphs, with the ingredients and method included in the text – as shown in Hannah Woolley’s (1622 – 1675) book:
“Take two quarts of new Milk, a peny white Loaf sliced very thin, then make the Milk scalding hot, then put to it the Bread, and break it, and strain it through a Cullender, then put in four Eggs, a little Spice, Sugar, Raisins, and Currants, and a little Salt, and so bake it, but not too much, for then it will whey.”
I could never imagine how tough it would be, to decipher recipes if we had carried on in the same stanza-writing method. We’d probably be eating out more often, that’s for sure.
According to John Nott’s recipe in 1723, on the other hand, White Pot also called for bone-marrow in place of butter, or even to complement the butter in the recipe. Either way, there’s something so comforting yet divine about Bread & Butter Puddings.
Well no, I will be using neither butter nor bone marrow for this recipe. Instead, I’m opting for a crowd-pleaser:
Can never go wrong with Nutella – spread it on bread slices or on plain crackers or even in cup/cakes or even on its own (mm guilty pleasures!). Seriously, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Nutella. Mother of all bread spreads, this cocoa & hazelnut spread is definitely a winner for everyone in my family. Explains why it needs replenishing so often!
Here’s a little (unrelated) baking tip: to make good chocolate chip cookies, do include ground or chopped hazelnuts, because it gives a heavenly Nutella aftertaste. Try it!
5 slices Leftover White bread
5 generous tbsp Nutella spread
250ml Fresh milk
50ml Evaporated milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 tsp Hot Chocolate powder
2 tbsp Brown Sugar*
2 beaten Fresh Eggs
Butter for greasing
* you may substitute Brown Sugar with 1 1/2 tbsp White Sugar
Cut the crusts off of the white bread and spread 1 tbsp of Nutella on each slice. See what I mean by generous. Cut the bread into quarters. In a bowl, whisk milk, vanilla, hot chocolate powder and sugar. Add in the beaten eggs.
Grease a 7-inch round pyrex bowl or ramekin with butter. Line the bowl with bread, strain and pour in the whisked mixture. Place the bowl in a slightly bigger tray and fill the tray with water. For baking noobs, this method is called double-boiling; great for custards and puddings.
Bake at 180°C for 25 mins and another 15 mins at 150°C (this time, partially cover the bowl).
Now wait (im)patiently in front of the oven.
Touch the top of the pudding; crust should be crisp and when you press it down, it should be springy. Springy means it’s custard-like on the inside (read: perfecto). Scoop a portion onto a plate, or shamelessly indulge out of the bowl.
You might wanna add a good heaping of vanilla or chocolate ice-cream, and drizzle more Nutella over it.
Mmmm, somethin’ about indulging warm-served dessert with ice cream that make your toes curl!
This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):
Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region. Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.