Saturday, 20 July 2013

Bread & butter pudding (by Diana's personal chef)

While we wait for the newest royal baby to arrive, here's a recipe for Bread & Butter Pudding, from the personal chef of our adored Diana. A girl's got to have comfort food. Thanks to for the inspiration and the share. 
(PS this is my favourite pic of Diana, it was on the front page of The Courier-Mail, under the title "Unforgettable" the morning after she died)


3 ozs. raisins
¼ cup amaretto
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
9 egg yolks
2 tsps. vanilla paste (see note)
¾ cup sugar
½ cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsps. granulated sugar, to dust the top of the pudding
3 ozs. sliced almonds, lightly toasted
2 tbsps. powdered sugar


Soak the raisins in the amaretto, and leave covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours or over-night.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 4 slices of the bread into ½-inch dice, and spread the diced bread on the bot-tom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle the raisins on top of the bread cubes, and pour any remaining liquid over the bread. Cut the remaining 8 slices of bread in half diagonally and then cut each half slice in halve diagonally to create 4 even triangles per slice. Dip the triangles into the butter, and arrange on the top of the raisins, overlapping the triangles slightly. Pour any remaining butter over the top of the bread.

Whisk the yolks, vanilla paste and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat, and pour the hot mix onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warm egg mixture over the bread, making sure all of the bread is coated, and set aside the coated bread for 20 minutes to allow the egg mixture to soak into the bread.

Place the casserole dish in a roasting tray filled with hot water halfway up the sides of the casserole dish, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top with the filling just set.

Remove the dish from the oven and roasting tray, and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Broil or use a creme brulee torch to caramelize the sugar. Sprinkle with the toasted sliced almonds, and dust with powdered sugar. Cool slightly, and serve warm with a jug of cream and some fresh berries.

Note: If you can’t find vanilla paste, you can use pure vanilla extract. But Chef Darren suggests making some va-nilla sugar instead: Take 4 vanilla beans (preferably Bourbon because they are sweeter and contain more seeds), cut them open down the center lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, and then add the beans and seeds to 5 cups of granu-lated sugar in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake it and wait a week before using.

Chef Darren notes that you should replace the vanilla sugar you use with an equivalent amount of sugar, and shake the mix. The mix is good for a year before you should buy new beans and start again.