Friday, 29 June 2012

Chocolate Brioche Pudding

This is one of my favourite desserts.  A fancied up bread and butter pudding, but still super simple.  I found it about 5 years ago in a Donna Hay Magazine.  I have vivid memories of several times that I made it.

My gorgeous Cornish friend Verity came to stay with us the week before we got married. When I stayed with Verity in the UK, she was such an amazing hostess. Her cooking is truly incredible.  She has this knack of throwing things together that you wouldn't think are anything special but it is somehow out of this world.  We had some very funny, mischievous and lovely times over there together. 

She was so incredibly lovely to fly all the way over from the UK for our wedding and as we were cooking soul mates, I had a full week's worth of delicious meals planned to show her my appreciation for her support that week.  Only trouble was, I was so nervous about the wedding (not the marriage!!!) that I had no appetite and was nauseous all week!!!   I loved cooking for her while she was here and she was so much fun to have around me in that week and especially on the wedding day.    

This is one of the dishes I made when Verity was here.  I had my long suffering brideslave, I mean bridesmaid, Claire, my beautiful flower girl and our MC all over for a bit of an unofficial rehearsal dinner. This was dessert.

The next time I made this dish, I was 10 weeks pregnant with my first baby.  I remember obsessively overcooking it to ensure the eggs were cooked through!!!  Paranoid pregnant lady I was. ;-)

Ok, enough memory lane trips, here is this delicious dessert. Easy to make ahead and incredibly satisfying to eat!

I visited Movida Bakery a few weeks ago and in amongst their incredible breads, donuts, pastries and pies, I spied a loaf of brioche. I LOVE brioche!  I bought the loaf knowing this dish was in our near future.

If you can't get brioche (or don't want to make your own) you can use a sweet Greek style egg bread or a Jewish Challah as an excellent replacement.  Or regular bread or croissants if you prefer.

The best chocolate to make this with, in my opinion, is no longer readily available in Australia - sob!!!! Green and Blacks Butterscotch. Oh my goodness, that chocolate is incredible! Verity introduced me to it.  Now I use either Lindt caramel or one of the other ones pictured below. All incredibly good!  The caramel one makes a fab toffee crunch and the other Lindt in the red box adds a fabulous ooziness.  I usually like to use a combo of both.  Dark chocolate would be lovely in this dish too.

Chocolate Brioche Pudding
original recipe from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 32

Makes 8-10 small ramekins, 6 medium or 4 pretty large ones!

  • 400ml milk
  • 300ml cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup golden castor sugar (or regular castor sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • Approx 200-250g brioche (I used half a large loaf and froze the rest for another time.)
  • 250g of the best chocolate of your choice
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Tear or cube the brioche

  • Break or cut up the chocolate in to smaller chunks

  • Heat milk and cream in small saucepan until it just comes to the boil

  • In a large jug, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and vanilla

  • Gradually add the warm milk and cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture whisking to combine

  • Divide the brioche and chocolate amongst your ramekins - you want a LOT of brioche in there otherwise the end result will be too runny. And I like to ensure even distribution of chocolate throughout :-)

  • Fill the ramekins up with the custard mixture

  • Place ramekins in a baking dish
  • Pour hot water in the baking dish until the water reaches half way up the ramekins

  • Cover with foil and bake for approximately 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of your ramekin)
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden on top and the custard has set

  • Serve warm.  

I made some of these in little gorgeous little baking cases I bought from Emerald and Ella and took them to the movies for my girls night out with my lovely friend Jen.  Not quite as nice at room temperature, but an excellent movie treat!!!

Happy baking!

Love Amy xoxo

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Cauliflower and Cheese Fritters

Instagram is a dangerous space when you're hungry. It's full of lots of yummy inspiration!

The loverly Cat posted a photo of cauliflower fritters the other week and I HAD to make some. I'm completely obsessed with cauliflower at the moment - roasted cauliflower soup with crispy sage and hazelnuts as well as this yummy roasted cauliflower, baby carrot and goats cheese dish, and Cat's Cauliflower Dhal.. As the craving hit, there was no time to request and wait for recipes, so after googling a few recipes (this one in particular was my basis) this is what I came up with.  I really wanted to emulate the classic cauliflower and cheese dish of my childhood, and I achieved that with the ooziness of these yummy fritters.  I also couldn't decide if I wanted roasted  cauliflower or steamed, so I did both! The roasted is more nutty and the steamed more soft and traditional. You can choose whichever you prefer - both were delicious.

I declare this my new favourite home cooked lunch!!!!

Cat and I decided to both post our cauliflower fritter recipes today and link up for Fritters with Friends! Well, Cat is calling it "fritters two ways", but as I've already mentioned, I like CHEESE!!!! ;-)

Here is my version:

Cauliflower and Cheese Fritters with Labne and Mint.

  • 1 small cauliflower or 1/2 a large head of cauliflower - roughly half a kilo
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 mls of milk
  • 2/3 cup of plain flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • a couple of shakes of ground cumin
  • ground pepper
  • Cut cauliflower in to small florets and roast them drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper at 180 degrees Celsius for 17-22 mins or until lightly browned and tender  (depending on the size you've cut them) - turn them around half way through so all sides get browned.  OR steam them for a few minutes in a double boiler until just tender.  OR do a combination of both!  Allow to cool.

  • Whisk together eggs and cheeses and milk and lightly whisk in flour, baking powder, cumin and ground pepper to taste.

  • Stir through the cooled cauliflower.  It's a very thick batter, not runny like pancakes.

  • Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of olive oil.

  • Once the oil is hot, dollop large spoonfuls and cook for a few minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown on the outside and the filling has puffed up.

  • Drain on paper towel

  • Sprinkle with sea salt and serve them hot with labne and fresh mint.*
  • My kinder boy enjoyed these cold in his lunch box.
  • These freeze really well too - just reheat from frozen by wrapping them in baking paper and putting them in a 180 degree oven for 20 minutes turning half way through.  Uncover them for the last 5 minutes.

Oozy, stretchy cheese goodness!!!

*Note - to make labne, just put some paper towel in a small sieve over a bowl and fill with natural yoghurt that has had some sea salt stirred through it. Cover with more paper towel. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight, or if you're impatient like me, just do it for 20 minutes on the bench while the fritters are cooking. ;-)

You can find Cat's recipe here - I'm hanging to see her version that inspired my new favourite lunch!


Love Amy xoxo