Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

A traditional English dessert where bread is buttered, then topped with a sprinkling of dried fruits, and then covered with a vanilla custard before topping with cinnamon and demerara sugar. It is then baked until the top is lovely and crispy.

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Bread and Butter Pudding

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 28 g (1 oz) softened butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 2 tsp chopped mixed peel
  • 3 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) full-fat/whole milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

Equipment

  • You will also need a 23 × 12 cm (9 × 5 inch) shallow ovenproof dish


  • Method
  • Butter the bread and cut each slice into quarters.

  • With the buttered sides uppermost, arrange the quarters over the bottom of the ovenproof dish, overlapping them to fit.

  • Scatter the currants, sultanas and mixed peel on top.

  • Then in a separate bowl, whisk together two of the eggs and the yolk only of the third. Whisk in the sugar and then stir in the milk and vanilla extract.

  • Strain the custard and then gently pour over the bread.

  • Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and demerara sugar, and then leave for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  • Put the dish into a roasting tin/pan and then fill the roasting tin/pan with boiling water until it comes half-way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is brown and crispy.

Updated: December 31, 2019

Raspberry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle

Frozen raspberries are used in this light, creamy trifle. Raspberry filled sponges are soaked in sherry and then topped with raspberries and covered in a creamy custard before decorating with dollops of whipped cream and crushed biscuits.

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Raspberry Trifle

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Refrigeration time: At least 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 trifle sponges or 1 packet lady fingers
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve or jam
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) sherry or framboise (¼ cup)
  • 340 g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups), thawed
  • 360 ml (12 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1½ cups)
  • 3 ratafias or amaretti biscuits

Equipment

  • You will also need a large flat bottomed glass dish or 8 individual glass dessert dishes.


  • Method
  • First pour the milk into a pan.

  • Now put the egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour/cornstarch in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of milk taken from the milk in the pan. Using an electric whisk, whisk until the mixture is pale in colour and has thickened, 2–3 minutes. Set aside.

  • Stir the vanilla into the milk and bring to the boil. Then slowly pour onto the egg mixture, stirring constantly. When smooth, pour the mixture back into a clean pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

  • Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent it forming a skin. Leave to become cold.

  • Meanwhile, slice the trifle sponges or lady fingers in half and spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Now sandwich back together and arrange them in a single layer over the bottom of the glass dish or individual dishes.

  • Drizzle the sherry or framboise over the sponges.

  • Now spoon the raspberries on top of the sponges (you may not need all the juice that has come from thawing the raspberries).

  • Whisk 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of the cream until thick. Using a balloon whisk, whisk the custard to loosen it a little and then whisk in the cream until combined. Pour over the raspberries.
  • Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form.

  • Now to decorate the top. Put dollops of cream around the edge of the trifle in the large glass dish or spoon one dollop on top of the trifles in the individual glass dishes. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, crush the biscuits into small pieces and, just before serving, sprinkle over the cream.

Note

  • If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.

Updated: December 30, 2019

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee crème brûlée – a lovely creamy coffee custard topped with caramelized sugar. This recipe gives two methods of creating the caramelized topping, with or without using a chef’s blowtorch.

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Coffee Crème Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 30–45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on the day of serving
  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or coffee extract
  • For the topping
  • 4 tbsp golden caster/granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

Note

  • Superfine sugar is finer than caster sugar and begins to melt too quickly once it is spooned onto the custard. Granulated sugar in North America, which is finer than English granulated sugar, works better.

Equipment

  • You will also need 6 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  • Method
  • For the custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3).

  • Lightly grease the ramekins with butter and set to one side.

  • Line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (this prevents them from slipping).

  • Then have a kettle of boiling water ready.

  • Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding.

  • Remove from the heat and add the coffee granules stirring until dissolved, or just stir in the coffee extract.
  • Leave to cool a little.

  • Meanwhile put the egg yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together.

  • Gradually stir the cream into the egg mixture, until they are combined.
  • Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.

  • Now carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it.

  • Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.

  • Then take the ramekins out of the water, cover the dishes, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  • Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on the counter top.

  • Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar.

  • Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved.

  • Then increase the heat to medium–high and, without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready.

  • Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  • Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules, finer than caster sugar (just like superfine sugar).

  • Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  • Put the ramekins on a baking sheet as close to the heat as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.
  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: November 4, 2019

Classic Crème Brûlée

Classic Crème Brûlée

These crème brûlées are so creamy they make just the perfect dessert. Egg yolks, sugar and cream flavoured with vanilla make the creamy custard, and it’s topped with brittle caramel.

I have shared two methods for creating the caramelized topping, one using a chef’s blowtorch and the other using the grill/broiler.

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Classic Crème Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 25–40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on day of serving
  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • For the topping

  • 4 –6 tbsp golden caster/superfine sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch
  • You will also need 6 x 150 ml, 5 fl oz (⅔ cup)heatproof ramekins


  • Method
  • For the custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) gas 3.

  • Lightly grease ramekins with butter and put to one side.

  • Boil a kettle of water. Meanwhile, line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or small roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (the paper prevents the ramekins from slipping).

  • Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

  • While the cream is cooling, put the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  • Then gradually pour in the cream, while whisking at the same time, until the cream and egg mixture is blended together. Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.

  • Carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it. Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.

  • Now take the ramekin dishes out of the water, cover them and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Sprinkle 2–3 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin. The sugar needs to cover the custard completely.

  • Now caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  • Now turn on the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to become really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  • Put the ramekins on a baking tray and place under the heat source, as close as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: October 13, 2019

Easy Summer Trifle

Easy Summer Trifle

 

A very refreshing summer trifle with fresh raspberries and strawberries, that is very quick and easy to prepare.

 

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4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt. sponge fingers lady fingers or trifle sponges
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 115 g 4 oz small strawberries (about ¾ cup)
  • 115 g 4 oz raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • Bird’s custard
  • 120 ml 4 fl oz double cream/whipping or heavy cream (½ cup)

  • You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes.


  • Method
  • Break enough of the sponges into pieces to fit the base of each dish.

  • Then spoon over 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve in each dish, and level.

  • Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull the strawberries and cut in half. Reserving 4 raspberries and 8 half strawberries for decoration, equally divide the rest amongst the four dishes.

  • Now sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sherry over the fruit in each dish and leave while preparing the custard so the sherry can be absorbed by the fruit and sponge.

  • Make up 480ml (16 fl oz) (2 cups) of Bird’s custard, according to the directions on the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm/plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin. Leave until just cold.

  • Spoon the custard equally into the four dishes.

  • Now whip the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.

  • Decorate the cream in each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.

  • Serve.

Updated: June 28, 2019

 

 

English Sherry Trifle

English Sherry Trifle

 

There are many different recipes for a trifle but a sherry-soaked sponge first brings to mind the traditional English trifle. The delicious flavour of raspberries make this the fruit of choice with a silky, smooth custard topped with dollops of whipped cream and then decorated with more raspberries and toasted flaked almonds.  Just a heavenly dessert.

 

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6 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing and chilling time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • Plain sponge cake for example a Madeira cake
  • 3 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 350 g 12 oz raspberries (2¾ cups)
  • 3 tbsp medium or sweet sherry
  • 480 ml 16 fl oz double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 14 g ½ oz toasted flaked almonds (2 tbsp)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting

  • For the custard
  • 3 eggs large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85 g 3 oz caster/superfine sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 600 ml 20 fl oz milk (2½ cups)

  • You will also need a large flat based glass serving bowl for this dish.


  • Method
  • First make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla, sugar, and three tablespoons of the milk.

  • Heat the remaining milk in a small pan and, as it comes up to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Now pour this back into the pan and, over a gentle heat, stir until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

  • Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/plastic wrap to prevent it forming a skin, then leave to cool.

  • Now to make the trifle. You will need enough of the cake to cover the base of the serving dish and be about 2.5cm (1 inch) deep. Slice the cake in half horizontally and then spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Sandwich back together and lay in the base of the serving bowl, cutting to fit as necessary.

  • Scatter ⅔ of the raspberries over the sponge, reserving the rest for decoration.

  • Next spoon the sherry over the sponge and raspberries.

  • Spoon the custard over the top, smoothing the surface.

  • Chill for at least one hour.

  • Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and dollop spoonfuls over the custard but this time don’t smooth the top.

  • Decorate with the reserved raspberries and toasted almonds.

  • Just before serving dust the top with icing/powdered sugar.

Updated: July 27, 2019

Strawberry Tartlets

Strawberry Tartlets

 

Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!

 

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4 tartlets
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sweet pastry
  • 2 eggs yolks only
  • 55 g 2 oz softened butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55 g 2 oz caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • 115 g 4oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • few drops vanilla extract

  • For the filling
  • Bird’s Custard Powder
  • 120 ml 4 fl oz full fat/whole milk (½ cup)
  • 285 g 12 oz small strawberries, washed and hulled (about 2 cups)
  • 120 ml 4 fl oz whipping cream/double or heavy cream (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

  • You will also need 4 x 10cm 4 inch tartlet tins.


  • Method
  • For the sweet pastry
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the egg yolks, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.

  • Sift the flour and add to the bowl. Now mix to from a firm dough.

  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Then wrap in a plastic food bag and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

  • Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ inches) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are 4 rounds. (Rolling it between two large sheets of cling film/wrap that have been dusted with flour will prevent the pastry sticking to the rolling pin.) Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. Now roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Prick the base, using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape and chill again while the oven is heating up.

  • Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).

  • Line the pastry with parchment paper and baking beans, then bake for 10 minutes.

  • Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.

  • For the filling
  • Meanwhile make up the custard according to the directions on the packet using 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) milk. (You want a thick custard). Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin. Leave to become cold.

  • Now whip the cream until stiff. Then whip the cold custard to loosen it and fold in the whipped cream until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the tart cases and level the tops.

  • Decorate with the strawberries, cutting them, if necessary, into halves or quarters depending on their size.

  • Add a little boiling water the jelly (about 1 teaspoon). Stir to melt the jelly and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.

Updated: August 17, 2018

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote

 

Baked Custard with Fruit Compote

 

 

A delicious light dessert of silky baked custard served with a compote of plums, strawberries and blueberries.

 

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4 servings
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 24 hours
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Standing time: 20–30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit compote
  • 85 g 3 oz sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 170 g 6 oz plums (about 4)
  • 170 g 6 oz strawberries, hulled and halved (⅞ cup)
  • 170 g 6 oz blueberries (1 cup)

  • For the custard
  • 150 ml 5 fl oz whole/full fat milk (⅔ cup)
  • 150 ml 5 fl oz single cream/table cream (⅔ cup)
  • 2 eggs large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 28 g 1 oz caster/white sugar (2 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • To serve
  • Single cream/table cream

  • Equipment
  • a shallow ovenproof dish with a capacity of 600ml 20 fl oz (3 cups)
  • a small roasting tin/pan


  • Method
  • For the fruit compote
  • Wash the plums, halve and remove the stones. Pour 300ml (10 fl oz) of water into a pan, add the sugar and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the syrup-water to a simmer and add the plums. Cook for one minute. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for 10–15 minutes until the fruit has softened but still keeps its shape.

  • Meanwhile, wash the berries, hull and halve the strawberries. Add them to the plums and stir to distribute the fruit. Transfer the fruit to a serving dish, cover and chill for 24 hours.

  • For the custard
  • The next day prepare the custard.

  • Heat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  • Pour the milk and cream into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine and then strain the custard into the ovenproof dish.

  • Pour the custard into the ovenproof dish and place this in the roasting tin/pan. Then slowly pour cold water into the roasting tin/pan to a depth of at least 2.5cm (1 inch). Carefully slide onto the middle rack in the oven and bake the custard for 50 minutes until it is set but still has a slight wobble in the centre when gently moved. It will also have an attractive golden skin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20–30 minutes.

  • To serve
  • Remove the fruit compote from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.

  • Divide the custard between four dessert dishes and then spoon the compote around. Cream can also be poured over for a little bit of extra indulgence.