I was saved from having to think too hard for this weeks choice of calorific installment by an opportune post on Friday on a rather good forum I frequent. This then is Pam's Spiced Bread Pudding how I made it.
8oz seeded wholemeal bread, torn into small pieces
0.5 pint milk
6oz dried mixed fruit
1oz dried cranberries
1oz candied peel
4oz soft brown sugar
1 heaped tbsp ground mixed spice
4 tbsp milk
Ground nutmeg + demerara sugar for the top
I followed Pam's instructions just changed the composition of the fruit content as I had dried cranberries in the house (to make some fudge for a friend I'm visiting later this week) and I like the zingy taste they give. Candied peel is a personal favourite of mine hence that was added. Mine took nearer an hour at gas 4 - 4.5. [I think my oven is particularly rubbish at lower temps like gas 4. Many cake recipes seem to use this temp and my efforts always take way longer, yet at higher temps it behaves perfectly, so from now on it's 4.5 - 5 for me.]
Preheat oven. Gas 4 is 180 c if your oven behaves at this temp.
Soak bread in half pint milk until softened, mine took about 20 mins with frequent stirring round.
Whilst this is sitting measure out the fruit, peel, sugar and mixed spice - I kept them all in the same weighing jug.
Melt the butter, meanwhile lightly whisk the egg and 4 tbsp milk together. Add melted butter and mix together. [Ensure your butter isn't spittingly hot otherwise I guess it could start cooking the egg - eggy lumps in the pud we do not want!]
Stir dry ingredients into the bread mix. Then add the liquid and stir all well together.
Grease a dish well and pour mix in, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with nutmeg and bake. Once set on top sprinkle sugar over then return to oven. Total cooking time 45 mins + dependant on your oven's performance.
I didn't have vanilla sugar as Pam uses in the original recipe so used brown demerara sugar.
This was really tasty and smelled glorious whilst cooking. I'm thinking that you could make whatever combination of fruit and spices you fancy - dried apple and cinnamon or a caribbean type one with dried papaya and pineapple perhaps? Or how about the addition of alcohol for a little extra kick? I'm a sucker for Baileys and this could be a winter comfort winner, maybe with chocolate chips? Ooh! I think this is definitely one to come back to and experiment. Only when I can feed most of it to someone else though or I'll be the size of a house! :-D