The We Should Cocoa cooking link-up, hosted this month by Linzi at Lancashire Food, (WSC is the brainchild of Choclette, at Tin and Thyme, who usually hosts the link-up on alternate months) has the seasonal theme of eggs. The challenge of putting eggs and chocolate together isn't difficult, but I wanted to bake something that relied on eggs for it's substance rather than just choosing a cake with the usual eggs in.
As it was a cold weekend I decided to treat us to a hot dessert rather than make a cake, and the proliferation of Hot Cross Buns in the shops in the run-up to Easter gave me the idea of making a bread and butter pudding with them. This fitted in well with the theme of eggs, as egg custard is an essential component, and adding chocolate to B & B pudding didn't seem a step too far!
The most challenging part of the dessert was slicing the buns thinly! I wanted to retain the crosses on the six buns for the top of the pudding, and still slice the remaining bun in half. Once that was done, I sandwiched the bun slices with butter and ginger jam, cut them in half crossways, and packed the little sandwiches into a buttered baking dish, as you would for a regular bread and butter pudding. I then scattered 50g of chopped dried apricots amongst the buns and placed the slices of bun with the crosses flatly on top. Finding the right sized baking dish is quite important here, so that the pudding looks right!
For the custard, I heated 350mls of semi-skimmed milk to about 60C, so that it would melt 50g plain chocolate when it was added. I then poured the chocolate milk onto 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons caster sugar and whisked together to mix evenly and dissolve the sugar. The custard mix was then poured over the buns in the baking dish and left to stand for an hour or so, to let the eggy mixture soak into the bread.
The pudding was baked for 45 minutes at 180C (160C, fan) and then cooled for about 20 minutes before serving.
Belleau Kitchen, Dom's Simply Eggcellent link-up this month is a celebration of eggs with a focus on seasonal dishes, including those suitable for Easter. As Easter is early this year and it looks as if it might not be good weather, this hot pudding certainly fits the bill.