Friday, May 11, 2012

Earl Grey, Apple and Chocolate Bread Pudding

bread-pudding-3 If I were to pick my favourite ingredients to bake with, it would be a tough choice for sure, but tea (and booze!) would be right up there near the top. Every time I make something with Chai, Matcha or Earl Grey I wonder why I don't do it more often. Tea is usually a subtle but beautiful taste that seems to work well with almost everything, from chocolate to fruit and especially with creams and custards. I decided to combine all of the above in this recipe, although I can’t take all the credit – the genius idea came from the gorgeous blog Our Kitchen, by the talented team at Fisher and Paykel. Go and check it out!

When I made this bread pudding, my kitchen smelled positively ambrosial. I used T2 French Earl Grey because it’s my favourite and smells absolutely wonderful. The tea is infused into the milk and cream which then becomes the base for the custard, but I also decided to add some Earl Grey poached apple pieces and sultanas between the layers. I love the idea of using crossiants for the bread component. The buttery flaky pastries work really well to soak up that custard mixture.

earl grey, apple and chocolate bread pudding Served warm, in thick slices with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is a fabulous dessert to make as we go into winter here in the Southern Hemisphere and would be very adaptable to almost any kind of flavours you want to put into it. Infuse the cream mixture with cinnamon and spices, or some lemon zest? Delicious. Throw in some frozen berries or chopped hazelnuts between the layers? Even better.

I think it would be lovely to make for Mothers Day too. My mum loved it, and mentioned that her Mum used to make a similar thing when she was young, albiet with white bread and sultanas, not crossiants and chocolate! Have a lovely weekend everyone! xxx

The beautiful apples used in this recipe were sent to me from Bite Communications

Also, it's time to announce the winner of my cookbook competition! Congratulations to Hannah from Wayfaring Chocolate! You've won a copy of David Herbert's 'Best Ever Baking Recipes' and will be receiving an email from me shortly :)

bread-pudding-2



Earl Grey, Apple and Chocolate Bread Pudding
Adapted from Our Kitchen
Serves 6
• 200ml cream
• 200ml milk
• 3 eggs
• ½ vanilla bean
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons earl grey tea (or 2 earl grey tea bags)
• 6 crossiants
• 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
• Icing sugar, to dust

Poached Apples and Sultanas
• 500ml boiling water
• 2 teaspoons earl grey tea (or 2 earl grey tea bags)
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm cubes
• 1/3 cup sultanas

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and greast and line a loaf tin. Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and stir in the earl grey tea. Heat the mixture until not quite boiling, and then leave to infuse for between 10-40 minutes. Strain the tea leaves out and discard. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and egg into the milk/cream mixture. In the meantime combine boiling water and tea leaves in a saucepan. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes and then strain out the leaves and return liquid to the saucepan. Add sugar, apples and sultanas and simmer for 20 minutes or until apples are tender.

Slice crossiants on a shallow angle so that you end up with 4 thick bread-like slices from each crossiant. Dip each piece into the cream mixture so the slices are well soaked through. Line the bottom of the tin with the soaked crossiants. Sprinkle over a layer of chocolate, poached apples and sultanas (either drain the apple mixture or remove from the liquid with a slotted spoon). Continue with the remaining ingredients, reserving some chocolate to sprinkle over the top layer. If there’s any remaining liquid, carefuly pour this around the edges of the tin so that it soaks into the layers.

Place in the oven and bake for around 40 minutes or until the liquid has set. Remove from the oven, turn out of the tin and slice into thick slices. Serve with ice cream.

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