DARK CHOCOLATE BREAD & BUTTER PUDDINGPrep Time: 1.5hr (including soaking time) Cooking Time: 25mins Serves: 6-8
When I think about the desserts I loved most as a child, I always picture my mum’s bread and butter pudding, which she made in Ireland using her homemade bread. It was always such a treat to hit a plump sultana! In Venezuela, with cloud forest sugar, nutmeg trees on the lawn and the finest cacao at hand, this is what I gave my children. It’s especially good made with cacao bread.
5 slices thin brown bread or cacao bread, spread with unsalted butter
50g sultanas or raisins, soaked in rum overnight, then drained
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 heaped tbsp finely grated cacao. Willie suggests Venezuelan 100% Rio Caribe cacao
450ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g muscovado sugar
Lightly grease a 25cm square baking dish.
Cut the bread into triangles and lay half of the pieces, butter-side down, in the dish.
Sprinkle over half the sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg and cacao.
Top with the remaining bread, butter-side up, and the remaining fruit, spices and cacao.
Pour the milk into a pan and gently bring to just under the boil, then remove from the heat.
Whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and 50g of the sugar. Stir in the hot milk and pour over the bread. Leave the bread to soak up the custard for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).
Push any corners of bread that protrude too much down into the custard, sprinkle the pudding with the remaining sugar and place the dish in a roasting tin.
Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.