Essentially this is my take on bread and butter pudding, using a spiced brioche loaf I had left over.
I often make this pudding with left-over hot cross buns around Easter, which gives a very creamy and indulgent hot cross bun flavour throughout, but this works well with any bread, brioche, even stale croissants…….
While this might not be the prettiest looking pudding in the world, it is intensely satisfying to eat. Real comfort food! And it is so easy to make.
I love lemongrass and it adds a great flavour to custard, as long as it has not been over-done.
While I adore fresh lemongrass, I do like the convenience of dried lemongrass stalks, courtesy of Absolute Spice. A couple of tablespoons of dried lemongrass pieces infuse the milk for the custard.
However, using 2 sticks of lemongrass that have been crushed or blitzed in a food processor and leaving them to infuse into the hot milk gives a very good flavour.
Individual puddings or for sharing
It is always fun diving into a large dish of whatever is being served for people to dive into at the table, but you can also make them in individual ramekins, in which case bake them for about 15-20 minutes. These are nice dusted liberally with icing sugar and then blow-torched or popped under a hot grill for a few moments to caramelise the top, crème brûlée-style!
Vary the ingredients
You don’t need to add dried fruits and the like to the pudding, but I quite like some, depending on what I fancy at the time. For this particular pudding, given my brioche had dried cranberries and raisins and in the dough, I decided to add a handful of these in between the layers.
You can add chunks of white (or indeed any) chocolate, too.
Spiced brioche pudding in a lemongrass custard: serves 8
- thinly sliced brioche, hot cross buns or good quality bread: enough to give 2 layers in a shallow baking dish
- a few tablespoons good quality orange (or lemon) curd
- handful of dried fruit of choice eg) cranberries, chopped apricots, cherries, raisins, sultanas……
For the custard:
- 350ml double cream
- 150ml full-fat milk
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 65g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons of dried lemongrass stalks, (alternatively use fresh lemongrass, finely chopped)
(1) Butter a shallow baking dish generously and spread a little of the curd over one side of the brioche .
(2) Make the custard: heat the cream, milk and lemongrass until just coming to the boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and gradually pour over the milk and cream mixture, including the lemongrass pieces.
(3) Pour the mixure back into the pan and heat on low, stirring all the time, for 3-4 minutes until you get a very thin custard. Make sure it does not boil or the eggs will scramble.
(4) Stain the custard through a sieve back into the bowl to get rid of the lemongrass pieces: the custard will have taken on a subtle lemongrass flavour. Cover with clingfilm and set aside until needed.
(5) Slice the brioche thinly and spread lightly with lemon curd. Place a layer of the brioche in the baking dish, overlapping slightly and sprinkle over some of the ginger. Repeat with a second layer of brioche and more stem ginger.
(6) Pour over the custard and gently pat the brioche into it, so that the brioche absorbs some of the custard and leave for at least 30 minutes, but it can be made the day before and left in the fridge until you are ready to make it. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C (fan). Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pudding is gently bubbling and has taken on some colour on top.