Chocolate Orange Baguette & Butter Pudding

I had this half baguette hanging around for about a week. One advantage of good bread is that it goes stale, rather than mouldy and the more stale the bread, the better it is at soaking up the custard.

Dried fruit can be a bit of a marmite thing for some people, but catering to those tastes wasn’t my reason for doing a chocolate bread and butter pudding, I just fancied a change, particularly as I done the traditional bread and butter pudding for the house a few weeks earlier.

While mentally constructing the dish in my head, I was pondering whether to include the usual marmalade that I use on my fruit version, but as chocolate and orange are great bedfellows it seemed madness not to and using chocolate flavoured with orange oil would enhance things further.

I know some people are going to be disappointed that it’s not an actual Terry’s Chocolate Orange pudding, I mean feel free to use one if you want, but I prefer to use dark chocolate when cooking. Even if you’re not partial to dark chocolate on its own you should always use it in baking, as cakes and puds are full of sugar and cream and butter and all those things which dilute the taste of chocolate, so starting with milk chocolate makes no sense.

There’s a whole bunch of orange flavoured chocolate bars at the shops. Green & Blacks do one with some warming spices added, while Lindt’s has toasted almond flakes. I went with the Tesco own-brand as it was simply chocolate and orange oil, it also had a higher cocoa solid content and was the cheapest. How much chocolate to use for this was a bit of an unknown, I didn’t want it to be swamped, so I settled on 50g and I was really surprised that just half a bar gave the dish a decent chocolate hit – feel free to add more if you want more chocolate or use the remaining chocolate to make a chocolate sauce.

Ingredients

  • Half a stale baguette
  • 100g soft butter
  • 1-2 tbsp marmalade
  • 50g dark orange chocolate
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g caster sugar.

Method

Slice the baguette up into thin 5mm thick slices. I left mine another day after slicing to let it really dry out. Spread each side with butter, I only do a thin smear as over dozens of slices the butter quickly adds up.

IMG_9681Chop up the chocolate into quite small chunks, smaller than standard chocolate chips you want it to be like a fine gravel. Sprinkle about ¼ in the bottom of your baking dish.

Now arrange the slices of buttered baguette, I spread one side of each slice with a thin smear of marmalade and the other side with a sprinkle of the chocolate. Place each slice marmalade side down in the dish. I used a wedge shape piece of bread at one end to help prop up the slices in a leaning position. Lay the slices down one side of the dish, then starting from the other end work your way back down the other side.

IMG_9688Now make the custard mixture. Warm the milk and cream in a pan. Meanwhile crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with the sugar and vanilla extract. When the milk is just coming to a simmer pour it slowly onto the egg mixture whisking the whole time to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Let this cool for a few minutes and then pour it through a sieve over your bread arrangement.

Sprinkle over any leftover chocolate and leave to stand for an hour to let the custard mixture soak into the bread.

Sprinkle with a little granulated sugar and place in a pre-heated oven, Gas 4, 180C/160C fan for 35-40 minutes or until golden and crispy on top. Remove and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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