Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mini Marmalade Bread and Butter Puddings

So then. The English and their puddings. What can I say? When we lived in London I worked for an organisation that had, among many other fantastic things, a cafeteria. A number of my otherwise discerning work mates would get very excited about the array of puddings on offer throughout the week. I can't remember them all, but they were the old-school classics, custardy things, roly polys, sponges, crumbles, spotted dick (I definitely remember that one) and bread and butter puddings. Really nothing could ever convince me to get in to this stuff (though I will eat a good crumble) and I would turn up my Antipodean nose at all of it, in much the same way that the locals know how to turn up their noses at us Antipodeans for all manner of things. But I digress.

I did find a recipe for bread and butter pudding that I tried, perhaps because it was so far from the original concept. Classic b & b pudding is made with slices of buttered white bread baked in a mixture of whisked milk, cream, eggs and sugar, and sprinkled with sultanas. The recipe I came across was made with brioche (sweet and buttery bread), extra egg yolks and loads of chocolate. Really, everything that is bad for you could be found in that one recipe. It tasted very, very good and I have never, ever made it again. It's a once in a decade calorie laden special. And to be honest I think it barely qualifies as real bread and butter pudding.

Towards the end of our time in London we lived with another couple, and Helen and her visiting mother made a bread and butter pudding which they kindly shared with us. They decided to try making it with panetone, a sweet Italian bread made with raisins and citrus flavours. They also added marmalade to the mix and it was *amazing.* From then on I was convinced that bread and butter pudding, with the right ingredients, could be something special.

To add to this list of exciting experiences, when back in Wellington a friend and I went to Flori's for afternoon tea and she chose a muffin sized bread and butter pudding. I snuck a bite, wished I had got it for myself, and haven't stopped thinking about it since. It was flavoured with I can't remember what - perhaps berries?- but there was only one thing at the top of my list when it came to make this pudding myself.

There are only about two foods in this world that my mother won't eat - marmalade and tamarillos - and when she and her sister were given marmalade toast as children by a kindly relative, they threw it out. I think it's going to be hard to convince her, and other marmalade haters, to give this a try. And then there are all the bread and butter pudding sceptics out there. I told a broad minded and widely experimenting baking friend about my awesome b & b pudding discoveries and she struggled to believe me. I am determined to turn her around, but I haven't heard from her after delivering her one of these gems the morning after baking, so I am nervous. And to be honest, I wonder if I have convinced any of you.

To create the puddings below, how could I start anywhere other than with Delia, the Queen of British cooking? I found that she has a recipe for bread and butter puddings that included marmalade, so I just added sultanas to mine, and adjusted the cooking time to make mini puddings in large muffin tins. I am a big cream fan, and for the first and perhaps only time in my life, recommend runny cream rather than whipped. Yoghurt has its place, but I'm afraid I can only recommend cream for this particular recipe...

I made 8 mini puddings. I could have fitted the mixture into 6 tins which would have made for less washing up, but obviously the puddings would have been bigger, and they are pretty filling. You decide. If you only have standard muffin tins you could try making tiny ones; just remember to reduce the cooking time.

Mini Marmalade Bread and Butter Puddings

6 thick slices white bread, with crusts
Butter for spreading
Marmalade for spreading
Handful of sultanas
275 ml full cream milk
60 ml cream
3 eggs
75g sugar
Demerara sugar for sprinkling
Orange zest/candied peel (optional)

Generously butter all 6 slices of bread.
Spread marmalade thickly over 3 slices, then top with the other 3 slices to make marmalade sandwiches.
Spread butter across the top of all 3 sandwiches.
Chop or tear roughly in to pieces, and spread pieces out amongst 6 - 8 large muffin tins, adding sultanas as you go.
Whisk together the milk, cream, eggs and sugar, and pour over the bread.
Sprinkle with demerara sugar and zest and peel if you wish.
Bake at 180 degrees for approx 25 minutes.


  1. So here i am, the said bread-and-butter-sceptic friend who remained silent after receiving one of these "surprises" from you, Angela. As you now know, that was because I hadn't tried it yet! So when I discovered a reference to myself on this blog, I hastily and guiltily sampled this wee delight. I was most impressed. It addressed many of my bread-and-butter reservations. The main one being, the texture. Soggy bread does not appeal to me, and yours certainly wasn't. In fact, I wouldn't have picked that it was bread. Secondly, the presentation. I love that you used muffin tins to bake these in. And the marmalade was an inspired addition.

    I was so impressed that I had a go myself. However, it was only a modest success. Definitely edible. however, the main problem that was the texture was, well, soggy unfortunately. Maybe I used too much liquid mix? And my husband couldn't taste the marmalade. This surprised me given i thought I had used heaps!

  2. Hmm, that is disappointing. It did occur to me that I didn't talk about what bread I used, I wonder if that would make a difference. I used a large, freshly baked loaf (from M-W's)and cut it really thickly. Otherwise - possibly more cooking? As for the marmalade - could *you* taste it? Some of us are more sensitive to delicate flavouring than others ;o)

  3. I used home made white bread, so thought that was a pretty good option. Yes, cooking time is a good point. And yes, i could definitely taste the marmalade. Luke could taste eggs unfortunately (i couldn't)

  4. Oh dear! The bread sound perfect. I must say, I always thought you just had to follow the instructions and all will turn out well when it comes to baking. But I am working on a couple of things at the moment that I can't get right, no matter how certain I am that I'm doing it properly! Let's not give up.

  5. Now I know what that mystery parcel contained - thank you! I must admit to a fair dose of Antipodean disdain for the idea of bread and butter pud, yet the more I ate of this one the more I liked it. Strangely MW also shares your Mum's top two dislikes for tamarillos and marmalade, and he wasn't willing to share the culinary experience once he spotted the presence of citrus peel! He does, however, make an exception for Rose's Lime Marmalade, which is good as I like collecting the jars to put homemade jam in ... I wonder how lime marmalade bread and butter pudding would go?

    1. Well we'll have to do something to get him trying them. Jam is the obvious answer ...

  6. these are on my holiday list. thanks : )

    1. Great! looking forward to hearing how they go.

  7. I used the basis of your recipe to make Gluten free B&B muffins. My little man doesn't like the bread I tried him on and did not want to waste it, Gluten free is so much more expensive, but I cannot say I blame him. I tried it and was not so impressed myself. Anyway, I pulsed the bread my blender instead of ripping it into chunks so that he wouldn't be assaulted with that 'Gluten-free bread' texture. This left me with a problem as to what to do about the jam portion of the recipe. In the end instead of putting Jam on the bread I put it into the liquid mix right at the end and gave it a short little pulse so it did not blend in too far. Made the end result more muffin-like with a jammy top, but that's a good thing as he takes them to school and loves the taste.


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