For me bread pudding is the ultimate food success story.
Traced as far back as early 11th century and often known as “poor mans pudding” in 13th century England, bread pudding was a way for fugal cooks to use up stale, leftover bread.
It has evolved much over time and is a master of disguise having gained a reputation in the 21st century as a trendy comfort food. Whether a pub lunch or tea at Claridge’s, you can be sure that bread pudding in some form or other would have been featured at sometime on the menu.
I have tried many variations, using all types of bread from Mexican tortillas to French Brioche but this recipe is definitely one of the best. I used Warburtons fruit bread with orange peal which gave a lovely chocolate orange taste. You only need half the loaf so just pop the other half in the freezer for next time as you will definitely want to make this again.
FRUITY CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING
125 g plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
6 medium thick slices of fruit loaf
125 g ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
450 ml single cream
300 ml whole milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons demerara sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Lightly butter a shallow ovenproof dish.
Place the chocolate in a bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool until the chocolate thickens slightly.
Spread the chocolate over the bread and leave until almost set. Cut the slices diagonally in half and layer in the in the buttered dish. Scatter with the chopped apricots.
Stir the cream, milk, caster sugar and eggs together until well mixed and carefully pour over the bread and apricots. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and place in a roasting pan half filled with boiling water.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden and the custard has set.
Serve hot or cold.