It’s been a slow weekend. I did not have the energy to ‘attend’ my Saturday morning exercise class, somehow one day at work dealing with child protection issues all day and a ridiculous 2 hour drive home was enough to finish me off. Anyway, a day of resting and reading and I emerged on Sunday with energy and drive which I pretty much funnelled into baking. I have made two loaves this weekend an achievement I think. I have not made any bread this year that I can recall. I think I need to work on my technique but that’s another post for another day.

Sunday’s other creation is brioche bread and butter pudding. We had a brioche loaf in the cupboard that needed eating so it made sense to make it into something even more moreish. It was so hot last week that I had envisaged that this week, bread and butter pudding eaten cold straight from the fridge would be like nectar from the gods. However, Monday morning has started grey and breezy, so that little fantasy is not going to play out. This does however make a deliciously warm and comforting snack with a cup of lemon and ginger. I had a slice for breakfast just before my first video consultation (yes, I have started that now – another post for another day) and telephone clinic and it was just the perfect start to the day.

This is an adapted Mary Berry recipe. I didn’t have any double cream (maybe just as well). I did happen to have a lemon lying about in the fruit bowl so I was able to add the lemon zest the recipe called for. The lemon zest adds that little extra ‘zing’ that takes pleasantly compliments the creamy texture of the pudding. I really like this version.


1 x 300g (11oz) brioche loaf50g (2oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

100g (4oz) sulta100g (4oz) sultanas3 tbsp demerara sugarFor the custard:3 eggs75g (3oz) caster sugar150ml (5fl oz) double cream600ml (1 pint) full-fat milk1 tsp vanilla extract1 small lemon finely grated zest

Essential kit

You will need a 28cm (11in) wide-based round ovenproof dish.


1. You will need a 28cm (11in) wide-based round ovenproof dish, and a roasting tin large enough to place it in.

2. Cut the brioche loaf into 1.5cm (⅝in) slices and brush each slice with melted butter on both sides. Arrange the slices in a spiral in the buttered dish and scatter over the sultanas.

3. To make the custard, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together by hand until well mixed. Pour the custard over the brioche in the dish and gently press the exposed bread crusts down into the liquid. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and leave to stand for about 30 minutes (see tip). While the pudding is standing, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4 and grease the dish with a little butter.

4. Half-fill the roasting tin with boiling water, and place the ovenproof dish in this. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden on top and puffed up. The layers will shrink down a little on cooling. Serve warm with cream.


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