The king of puddings.
A far cry from the bread and butter pudding of my childhood, where scorched little raisins sat on top of burnt bread with a soggy milky underside (sorry auntie, puds just weren’t your forte) this one is rich and creamy, full of fresh homemade vanilla custard that’s soaked in to soft buttery brioche and comes complete with a crisp creme brûlée style top. Each mouthful will have you moaning with pleasure as you eat it (or maybe that’s just me) and thankfully there’s not a single raisin in sight.
I’d like to claim full ownership of this recipe but I’m afraid I can’t, as it’s based on the best bread and butter pudding recipe on the planet which is by Gary Rhodes. Sadly, this old school TV chef is seldom seen on telly these days, but he’s still owed a debt of gratitude for this beauty (among many others). So Gary, wherever you are and whatever you’re up to, I raise my dessert ladle aloft and salut you for this, the king of puddings. And based on the pleasure it provides, this seems like a highly deserving title.
For 4 to 6
- 12 slices brioche — plain or chocolate chip
- 90g unsalted butter, softened
- 8 egg yolks
- 175g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod or 3 to 5 drops vanilla essence
- 300ml milk
- 300ml double cream
- Caster sugar, to finish
- Grease a pudding tin with butter.
- Start with the custard...
- Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar. Split the vanilla pod and place in a pan with the milk and cream. Bring the milk and cream to the simmer, then sieve onto the egg yolks, stirring all the time.
- Arrange the buttered brioche in layers in the pudding tin. Pour the mixture over the bread and leave it to soak for 20 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven).
- Put the dish in roasting tray three-quarters filled with warm water and place in the oven. Cook for about 25 minutes until it begins to set.
- When ready, remove from the water bath, sprinkle liberally with caster sugar to cover and glaze under the grill on medium heat, or use a blow torch to give it that creme brûlée top.