the best way to eat sourdough bread - this vanilla scented pudding with chunks of dark chocolate and crunchy walnuts is my absolute comfort dessert.
Because of my self declared phobia of yeast, I prefer buying bread from artisanal bakeries (really over the commercial variety at the moment) and almost always don't know what to do with it apart from slathering creamy scrambled eggs/peanut butter/banana. This time it was a beautiful loaf of sourdough that I got from my favourite bakery over the weekend.
The initial idea was to make a savoury french toast but um.. did I mention I have a sweet jaw?! There was also the need to make it "healthy-ish". I don't think that went anywhere thanks to Nigella Lawson's pursuasive voice on Youtube as I watched her make a caramel croissant bread pudding (mine is definitely a way lesser artery clogging version).
You can swap the cream with milk and add refined sugar if that's your thing. I'd personally like to add orange zest next time and maybe even a splash of good bourbon but that would have to be for a special occasion (no abs, not giving up on getting you yet). For now, I'll settle with a warm bowl of this pudding and promise myself to control portion (it's a lie!).
Recipe (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Sourdough bread (about half a loaf) cut into 1 inch squares
1 cup of cream (I used Amul)
1 cup of milk (full fat, please)
2 tablespoons of butter (melted and cooled)
1 tsp of vanilla essence (extract is fine too)
50-70 gms of chopped dark chocolate (I used 75% bitter chocolate)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Some sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven at 170 degrees celsius and leave it alone to warm up.
In a baking tray, arrange the bread pieces snugly (in concentric circles if you are OCD like me) and leave aside.
In a bowl, whisk two eggs, add the melted butter but make sure it is cooled down (we don't want scrambled eggs). Now add the cream, milk, vanilla, honey and whisk the custard mixture to combine everything well.
Add the custard mixture on top of the arranged bread slices, sprinkle the chopped dark chocolate and chopped walnuts and right when you are about to take it to the oven, sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top (this tastes DIVINE after baking).
Bake for 10 minutes at 180 deg celsius and then for 40 minutes at 170 degree celsius (this will ensure a crisp top and slightly gooey inside) and let it cool completely (who am I kidding?). Share with people you love, hot out of the oven.
Trust me this pudding is ace on it's own but I am sure some people would like to add caramel sauce on this (CRINGE) and add a scoop of icecream (CRINGE) - I am not that person.