Michelle Darmody: Baked puddings - a comforting treat

— old-fashioned, certainly, but there is a warmth and satisfaction to these too
Michelle Darmody: Baked puddings - a comforting treat

Lemon and lime baked pudding

As we are still in lockdown many of us may be in need of a comforting treat. Baked puddings, served warm, can provide such solace on a grey day. Pudding is a word that reminds me of old English storybooks from childhood, conjuring up fancy boarding schools and manor houses. These puddings may seem old fashioned but there is a warmth and satisfaction to the age-old recipes.

Bread and butter pudding can be adapted in a huge variety of ways, it is effectively bread soaked in custard, with whatever additions you like. I enjoy the kick of an orange liqueur and the citrus zest softens the sweetness of the custard. Using zest at this time of year adds a bright note to the kitchen — its smell and flavour bring hints of sunnier climates.

Chocolate and lime are a great combination. I use a chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa content for this recipe, which makes it quite rich. If you have chocolate drops they work well as they melt quickly and evenly; if you are using chocolate from a bar just smash it into small even pieces.

These desserts will not win awards for prettiness, or finesse, they are sloppy to serve as they are usually gooey on the inside. They are about comfort rather than a visual appeal.

Orange and raisin bread and butter pudding

  • 100g raisins
  • 80mls Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur
  • 8 thick slices of old white bread
  • 50g soft butter
  • 250mls milk
  • 290mls cream
  • 3 eggs and 1 extra yolk
  • 3 tbs  golden caster sugar
  • the zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 tbs light muscovado sugar

Bread and butter pudding with cream

Bread and butter pudding with cream

Soak the raisins in the Grand Marnier overnight if possible or at least for a few hours so that they puff up.

Grease an ovenproof dish that is about 9 by 9 inches.

Butter both sides of the bread and cut into triangles and set aside. I leave the crusts on but you are welcome to cut them off.

Heat the milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat until it is at the shivering stage, just before it boils.

Whisk the eggs and the egg yolk with the caster sugar until they are beginning to turn pale.

Slowly and gently whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the zest.

Layer half of the bread slices into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the raisins and any remaining liqueur onto the bread. Fit the next layer of bread on top and then sprinkle the rest of the raisins on top of that. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the bread. Place into the fridge for an hour to allow the mixture to soak into the bread.

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the muscovado sugar on top and some more orange zest as well if you like. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown on top. It should still be soft inside.

Chocolate and lime pudding

  • 150g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 8 tbs cocoa powder, sieved
  • 140g soft butter
  • 4 eggs
  • the zest of 3 limes
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 4 tbs creme fraiche

Preheat your oven to 150°C and grease an ovenproof dish that measures about 9 by 7 inches.

Place the chocolate pieces, cocoa powder and butter into heavy-based saucepan and melt gently.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until they form stiff peaks. Stir in the golden syrup and creme fraiche until combined.

Scoop into your prepared dish.

Bake for 45 minutes until set on top.

Lemon and lime baked pudding

  • 50g soft butter
  • the zest of 1 large lemon
  • the zest of 2 limes
  • 190g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 50g plain flour, sieved
  • 250mls milk
  • 50mls lime juice
  • 50mls lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease an ovenproof dish measuring about 9 by 7 inches.

Whisk the soft butter, zest, and the sugar until pale and fluffy.

Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and set aside.

Add in the eggs yolks and flour and combine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the milk and make sure it too is completely combined. Add in the juice and combine it.

Fold in the egg whites to the main mixture.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 40 minutes until golden and set on the top. It will still be soft underneath.

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