Much jollity at The Trad Pad on Sunday. Piece de resistance was the Bread and Chocolate Pudding from Steve Manfredi's recipe. If you are looking for a pudd that is great hot or cold; is lush and luxurious and yet traditional - then this is it. It is a bread pudding with the bread smothered in cream, mixed with a wonderful egg mixture, and laced with chocolate. It is served with a chocolate sauce which is to die for - and the easiest chocolate sauce ever. Refer to this chocolate sauce frequently because, being so easy, you will use it with everything.
Here is the recipe:
Warm bread and chocolate pudding
Moisten 400g of bread (crusts cut off, chopped in small pieces) in a bowl with 300ml of cream. Roast 100g of blanched almonds until they're golden and roughly chop them. Beat 2 egg yolks with 50g of vanilla sugar until pale. Whisk 2 egg whites with 50g of vanilla sugar to form stiff peaks. Add the almonds to the bread, along with the grated rind of an orange, the egg yolks and egg whites, and 80g of chopped dark chocolate. Butter six ramekins (or one pudding bowl) and spoon the mixture in. Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 40 minutes. Serve warm with chocolate sauce.
Heat 250ml of single cream in a small saucepan. Roughly chop 300g of good chocolate and place in a bowl. When the cream is just about to boil, take it from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for 30 seconds so the chocolate melts, then mix it well with a fork or a small whisk until it becomes smooth and shiny. The chocolate sauce is now ready to be used. Any leftover sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and can be remelted carefully by bringing a pot of water to the boil, putting the bowl containing the chocolate over the pot and slowly melting it. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not sit in the boiling water.
Miss Eagle's notes: Because we had a large number of guests, Miss Eagle didn't use ramekins. Instead she made a double mixture and baked it in a huge dish. She did not include the almonds since we are not all that keen on them at The Trad Pad. Next time, to make it more luxurious and tasty, Miss Eagle will add a liqueur. Go to the link and you will find suggestions for what liqueur you might use. Miss Eagle served the pudd warm but went back for seconds when it was cold - and, if anything, it was even better.