Saturday, 2 June 2012

Bread & butter pudding with rhubarb carpaccio

Do you like recipes using stale bread? I love them. I am sure I don't have to introduce good old bread & butter pudding to anyone. This is so comforting, home cooked pud, perhaps not very good looking but certainly very tasty. I don't mind bread & butter pudding bakes in big dish and scooped out, however this time I wanted to make something looking more elegant.

I usually bake this pudding using some leftover baguette, challah bread or croissant. I like to leave the crust on because it gives pudding another texture and it seems more interesting than pudding made with no crust bread. I don't normally make it using any jam or marmalade but I like to put some brandy or whisky or dark chocolate chips in more posh version.

Today I will show you my recent experiment - I wanted to have one of my favourite puds with rhubarb but not with rhubarb compote. So I found this lovely rhubarb carpaccio in "From Nature to Plate" by Tom Kitchin. It was served with completely different dessert and I have also changed the recipe for the carpaccio slightly because when I first followed it by word it turned out not exactly how I expected (too hard). 

I have to say I was really pleased with the outcome - better looking bread and butter pudding. I served it with some rhubarb syrup, real vanilla ice cream and fresh thyme.


(I used small tea loaf baking tins, each one a hand size)


1 large rhubarb stalk (or two smaller)
about 400ml water
about 250ml caster sugar
juice and zest of half lemon

Chop the rhubarb in about 10cm pieces and then using a mandoline slice it into about 2mm ribbons. 

Place the sugar in a pan together with water and lemon juice and zest. Bring it to the boil and place the rhubarb ribbons in it. Again bring to the boil and remove from the heat immediately. Leave it in the syrup for about 5 minutes. Then very gently remove the ribbons from the syrup and place them on the serving plates. I recommend to boil more ribbons than you actually need, because they are very gentle and can disintegrate easily, so it is better to have spare ones just in case.

Boil the strained syrup until thickens little bit.


about 12-16 slices of baguette, about 0.5cm each
about 30g unsalted butter
handful of dried currants
some brandy  (few tablespoon just to soak the fruit)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
300ml double cream
200ml milk (at least semi skimmed, but full is better)
40g caster sugar 

Ideally one day ahead soak the currants in the brandy, or at least 2 hour before baking.

Line the baking tray with little butter and butter all the bread slices, then arrange them in the baking trays in few layers. Sprinkle some currants between each layer and if you have some brandy left from soaking drizzle it in the top.

In a mixing bowl mix the eggs withe the egg yolks and the sugar and beat (I used balloon whisker) until fluffy. Add the cream, milk, and mix well. Pour the mixture over the layered bread and leave it to soak for about 20 minutes. you may find out that this is too much of the mixture and the bread will not take everything, depends on the type of bread you use, so either use less of the mixture or you may end up with pudding with some sweet scrambled eggs on the sides. I don't mind this, but I understand this could be an issue to some people. 

Heat the oven to 180 C. Place small tins in one large baking dish and fill it with hot water (about 3/4 of the tins height). Cover with some kitchen foil - this will prevent the top coat from becoming crispy (it will end up at the bottom, as you serve it upside down), unless you want this bit to have crispy texture. Bake for about 40-50 minutes.

Remove from the oven, leave it to cool down little bit and remove the puddings from the tins.
To serve:

real vanilla ice cream (I use Brymor
some fresh thyme leaves

Place the puddings upside down on the rhubarb carpaccio and if you have any carpaccio left you can trim it and cover the top as well. Next drizzle with some warm rhubarb syrup, using two spoons form good looking ice cream scoop and place it on the top. Sprinkle with some thyme leaves and serve immediately. 

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