Bread and butter pudding is a great everyday family standby. It’s quick and economical to make, and useful for using up odds and ends of none-too-fresh bread. With a few extra ingredients, though, you can elevate it to the status of dinner party dessert while keeping the ease of preparation.
Ideally, start this recipe the night before so that the bread has time to absorb lots of liquid. If you run out of time, though, it will still work made on the day. Make the coffee and pour it into a measuring jug or bowl. Chop the dates roughly into small pieces, and drop them into the coffee while it’s still hot. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the milk, cream and eggs into a bowl and whisk vigorously until the liquid looks frothy on top. This will help trap air into the mixture and help the pudding rise.
Butter the bread generously, and cut it into triangles. Layer half of it into a shallow ovenproof dish, and sprinkle with half the sugar. Pour over the coffee and date mixture, and add another layer of bread. Sprinkle the top with sugar.
Cover with clingfilm, and leave in the fridge overnight.
The following day, heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. While the oven’s heating, remove the dish from the fridge and leave it to come up to room temperature, then put it in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes. When ready, the pudding should look risen and golden, and the custard should be just set, with a slight wobble.
Serve immediately, with cream or coffee sauce.
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