White Chocolate Bread Pudding Recipe Revisited

The one recipe I have been asked for countless times is for White Chocolate Bread Pudding - WCBP. This is another New Orleans classic recipe and one that I picked up from my time living in the French Quarter (shout out Royal Cafe Krewe!). I love all manner of bread and butter puddings and this makes a delicious end to a Sunday roast dinner. You can make sweet, little fancy individual portions, portions for a few or big ol' trays of it to serve at parties. It is also ridiculously easy to make, inexpensive and most importantly, people love it! People love it so much that a friend of mine famously ate what has grown over time to six portions of it in one evening. He has requested this recipe so that he can make this with his wonderful daughters which makes me immeasurably happy - so I'm re-posting this for them. Scroll down a bit for my recipe and pics.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe
Before we start - it's important to note that depending on the amount of bread used you may need to add a bit more milk and/or double cream at step 8 or if you are using bread from a larger loaf, a whole loaf or a bigger dish you can add an additional egg as well as chocolate, cream and milk. This is a great recipe to make your own and experiment with.

Ingredients


3/4 loaf of stale white bread or a whole baguette
250g good quality white chocolate - roughly 150g for the pudding, 100g for the sauce
250 ml whole milk
150 ml double cream - roughly 50ml for the pudding and 100ml for the sauce
50g caster sugar
two eggs
Butter
Strawberries in summer or sharp winter berries for garnish

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Instructions

  1. Slice your bread in 2-3 cm slices. For this recipe I used a rectangular shallow dish, roughly 30cm x 20cm but any dish will do and depending on the size and shape of your bread slices you may want to test that your slices will fit your dish before the next step, cutting them into triangles or wedge them into place until you are happy that your bread and dish will work together and that the pudding will have at least two layers.
  2. Butter both sides of the bread. Use margarine if you must but I believe in butter.
  3. Arrange the slices in the dish trying not to leave any gaps.
  4. Scatter white chocolate in between each layer, one or two handfuls depending on personal preference, more if you want a more chocolate-y pudding or less for a pudding that is less sweet.
  5. Repeat until you have at least two layers.
  6. Top with a scattering of white chocolate.
  7. Add the milk, double cream, caster sugar and eggs into a jug and whisk. This pudding is quite sweet and stodgy so if you don't like sweet puddings you can halve the sugar or even leave it out, I have tried this and it still works and there is also the sauce to go on top which will add sweetness.
  8. Pour the mixture all over the bread, making sure that the mixture hits corners and crusts. The mixture will fully saturate the bread and you want the mixture to come up at least halfway up the dish. Remember the note from above that depending on the bread you used you may need a bit more liquid or you may have a bit more than necessary. If you are a bit short on liquid just add a bit more over the top.
  9. Now put to side or refrigerate if you are not going to cook straight away, I always try to make it early, leave it covered in the fridge for a bit and let the liquid soak up.
  10. Cook for 30 minutes at 200˚C or until browned, ideally you want it to be nice and stodgy with some crispier sections on top.
  11. Just before the pudding is done, take another 100 ml of double cream and melt the remaining half of the chocolate on the hob or in a microwave if you are pushed for time. Stir well or whisk until the tow are combined without overcooking or burning. IT will be the consistency of a runny custard.
  12. REMEMBER - If you are doing a massive WCBP just up the liquids, add another egg and use more chocolate.
  13. Place portions of the WCBP in bowls and pour a nice amount of the hot mixture on top of the WCBP. I think the pudding is BEST when served with strawberries and I used some defrosted ones here as it's winter but winter berries work just as well to cut through the sweetness.
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Enjoy! This is a total crowdpleaser!!!

Pasta Jambalaya

 
 
 Auntie Chrissie's green beans

Auntie Chrissie's green beans

 Auntie Chrissie's courgette

Auntie Chrissie's courgette

A dish that I picked up in New Orleans that was on the menu at the now no longer Royal Cafe at 700 Royal St. I waitressed there and it holds some of my favourite memories attached to some of my favourite people to come in to my life. I used to ask Chef Johnnie to make me this vegetarian dish and it is one that has stayed with me. All the flavour of New Orleans in a slightly healthier recipe. This one combines two of my places I consider home as I used green beans and courgettes that I had picked from my Auntie Chrissie's garden in Orford, Suffolk and brought back to London. It has the cayenne and paprika to give it that characteristically new orleans flavour and is full of vegetable goodness. I love this recipe with any variation of vegetables of with prawns or crawfish.

Recipe

100g green beans - topped, tailed and cut into 3 cm long sections
1 small red pepper - sliced and chopped
1 courgette - sliced into half-moons
50g sun-dried tomatoes - chopped finely
100g artichoke hearts - roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper to taste
150g linguine + salt for water

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1.  Whilst preparing your veg adn ingredients begin to salt and boil the water for the pasta and cook for the correct time as noted.
2.  Add oil to a pan with heat set to low.
3.  Heat the sliced garlic for one-minute and be sure not to burn the garlic them remove the garlic slices from the oil and pan.

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4.  Add the green beans and red peppers to the oil.

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5.  Add the courgettes and sun-dried tomato to the pan.

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6.  Add the artichoke, cayenne and paprika to the pan and stir well. If you do not like spicy food then you should reduce the cayenne and paprika from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. If you prefer spicy dishes you can increase the amount of cayenne and paprika to 1 tablespoon each of cayenne and paprika.

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7.  Add the thyme and cream to the pan and stir well.
8. Drain and add the pasta to the pan, stir well, garnish with oil and parmesan if so desired and enjoy!

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Christmas Crafts and Cake Decorating at Comet Children's Centre

 
 Homemade soaps

Homemade soaps

 Christmas Cake made with homemade mincemeat

Christmas Cake made with homemade mincemeat

 Sausage rolls

Sausage rolls

 Gingerbread shapes

Gingerbread shapes

 

Thank you to all the families, staff and children at Comet Children's Centre - especially Gareth, Sarah Jane and Clara. We made our own mincemeat, mince pies, mince muffins, Christmas cakes, soaps, gingerbread shapes, carrot cake muffins, chocolate muffins, lots of icings and more.

Minestrone Soup at the Church of Cheese - Whitecross St Market

 

I'm collaborating with the Church of Cheese at Whitecross St Market by popping up there for the next few months. With the cold winter I will be serving hearty homemade soups to go along with the panini and cheese toasties. The minestrone featured carrot, kale, courgette, potato, celery, onion, canellini beans, pasta and topped with our parmegiano cheese. Next week will be split pea, vegetables and speck. Let me know what soups you want to see next!

 

Cheese Toasties!!!

 

The meats and cheeses of the Church of Cheese and the preserves of Smy Goodness are being folded together and pressed until golden brown in the form of heavenly cheese toasties. They are perfect on a chilly day because, well - hot cheese. Just a few of the cheese toastie flavours of the day include:

  • Salame Napoli mature cheddar cheese and apple and pepper chutney
  • Speck, gorgonzola and quince chutney
  • Schiaciatta piccante, pecorino w/chilies and six-pepper jelly
  • Portabello mushrooms, brie and red onion marmalade

 

 

Rainy Day at Whitecross St Market

 

I'm quite pleased with this little video I made whilst bored at the market. It seemed appropriate that the Twin Peaks soundtrack kept shuffling into play. This was one of those days when it is pointless to avoid the inevitable thorough soaking headed ones way from either packing up and/or getting home. In my case on this day, it was both.

 

Quince/Apple & Polenta/Pistachio Crumble w/ Quince Ice Cream & Membrillo Shavings

 

Here is a re-experimentation created in an effort to make a slightly lighter crumble as well as to use lots of my quince preserves, in this case quince jam and membrillo. I always make the ice cream beforehand or the day before for one less step to complete on the day. If you don't have a jar of Smy Goodness or another type of quince jam you could make vanilla ice cream or serve with a good quality vanilla ice cream or frozen yoghurt. I had also made the membrillo about a month prior to this pudding but you could also buy ready made membrillo or omit it all together

CRUMBLE RECIPE
Ingredients

1 quince
2-3 apples
100g polenta
100g plain flour
100g butter, room temperature
70g sugar
handful of pistachios - finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.

  2. Lightly butter an ovenproof dish, I use one that is 15cm x 20cm. For a larger dish you may want to double the recipe.

  3. Peel, core, quarter and roughly chop the quince. Place the quince in an ovenproof dish top with 1 Tbsp of the sugar and shake to distribute and then place in the oven for 20 minutes. This will give the quince a head start as it requires a longer cooking time than the apple.

  4. Prepare the crumble topping by sifting the flour on to the top of the polenta. Add the sugar and chopped pistachios to the flour and polenta and stir well to mix.

  5. Add the butter and rub with clean fingertips to incorporate the butter throughout the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly texture that when pinched together will adhere to itself in clumps.

  6. Peel, core, quarter and roughly chop the apples into chunks.

  7. Remove the quince from the oven and immediately increase the heat to 180°C, add the apple to the quince and stir to distribute well. Be sure to use an oven glove and give the pan a shake so that the fruit levels out within the dish.

  8. Spoon the crumble topping on to the fruit until it has completely covered the fruit. Gently pat the crumble topping for a more compact topping.

  9. Return the dish to the oven and cook for 25-35 minutes or until the topping has gone golden brown. Remove from oven and allow the crumble to rest before serving.

QUINCE ICE CREAM RECIPE
Ingredients

200g milk
200g double cream
4 egg yolks
1 jar of Smy Goodness quince jam
vanilla seeds from half a vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp of organic vanilla extract
small pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place the milk and vanilla seeds into a pan. Turn the heat to medium but do not allow the milk to boil. Once the edges of the milk start to bubble remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.

  2. In a bowl or jug blend together the quince jam and egg yolks and salt.

  3. Once combined slowly stir in the double cream and beat until well combined.

  4. Now add the cooled down milk to the mixture and stir until completely blended.

  5. Add the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow directions. I have used a Gaggia and a Magimix

ASSEMBLY
S
erve a portion of the crumble on a plate or bow alongside a scoop of the ice cream and top the ice cream with very thin slices of membrillo.

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Above left are jars of quince jelly and a quince cordial that I made. On the right is a pattern/print that I made from a photo of extracted quince pectin in a jug.

Quince, freesias and the crumble and ice cream.

 

Lobstah

 
 Lobster Roll from the Lobster Trap in Bourne, Mass, USA

Lobster Roll from the Lobster Trap in Bourne, Mass, USA

 Lobster lollipops from the Lobster Trap in Bourne, Mass, USA

Lobster lollipops from the Lobster Trap in Bourne, Mass, USA

 Lobster Roll from Nancy's Restaurant on Martha's Vineyard, Mass, USA

Lobster Roll from Nancy's Restaurant on Martha's Vineyard, Mass, USA

 Lobster & Prawn pasta from the Blue-Eyed Crab in Pymouth, Mass, USA

Lobster & Prawn pasta from the Blue-Eyed Crab in Pymouth, Mass, USA

 

Gazpacho at Wentworth Children's Centre

 

Everyone loves a soup during the winter months to get all ones nutrients and to keep warm. Gazpacho is a great way to enjoy soup in the summer and stay hydrated, refreshed and get much of ones five a day. Gazpacho is typically a Spanish dish with a recipe that will vary and depend on whom you ask and how their parents or grandparents made it. The following is a simple Gazpacho recipe that is simple and fun to make with children and suited to their taste buds.

GAZPACHO RECIPE
Ingredients

1 kilo red ripe tomato chopped
1 green pepper deseeded and chopped
1 red pepper deseeded and chopped
1 large cucumber deseeded and chopped
1/2 a small white onion chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
250 ml tomato juice
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 chunk or two slices of stale (not moldy) bread
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

  1. Cover and soak the bread with the tomato juice and leave while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Combine the tomato, green and red pepper, cucumber, garlic and toss in the olive oil.
  3. Remove the bread from the tomato juice and squeeze the excess juice from the bread and add the bread to the prepared vegetables.
  4. Blend everything together in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth with no chunks.
  5. Now stir in the olive oil, cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Chill for at least two hours and serve as is or with garnishes such as finely diced cucumber, herbs, ham, eggs, spring onions, peppers or anything you would like.