Chocolate bread and butter pudding

Sooooooo…. Delia – misunderstood genius of our times or completely barking bonkers? Somewhere in between? When is a shortcut a step too far? Latest pointless obsession of the chattering classes? Don’t know and don’t care?

I throw it open to the floor 🙂

In the midst of all this palaver, I thought I’d go for a bit of old-skool Delia with this chocolate bread and butter pudding, and try to remember why we all loved her in the first place. Personally, I miss that version of the lady. Maybe we could perform an intervention and get her exorcised of whatever evil spirit is possessing her right now. (Don’t anyone make a crack about that spirit being gin – I got there first.) 

Unfortunately, there are no pics of the cooked product as we had the in-laws round for tea and I got a little camera shy when they were here. So here’s the bread soaking up all that chocolatey, custardy, cinnamon-scented gorgeousness…

 Chocolate bread and butter pudding 

Chocolate bread and butter pudding from Delia’s Winter Collection by Delia Smith

You’ll need:

9 slices, each 1/4 thick, good-quality, 1-day-old taken from a large loaf.
150g dark chocolate (75% cocoa solids), chopped into smallish pieces
425ml whipping cream
4 tablespoons dark rum
110g caster sugar
75g butter
1/8th teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
Double cream/icecream to serve

1. Butter an ovenproof dish 18 x 23cm and 5cm deep.

2. Remove the crusts from the slices of bread which should leave you with approx. 10cm squares. Cut each slice into four triangles.

3. Place the chocolate, cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate have dissolved into the mixture. Remove from the heat and give it another really good stir.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then pour the chocolate mixture over them. Whisk again very thoroughly to blend them together.

5. Spoon about a 1cm layer of the chocolate mix into the base of the dish and arrange about half of the bread triangles over the chocolate in overlapping rows. Now pour half the remaining chocolate mixture over the bread as evenly as possible then arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread gently down so that it get covered very evenly with the liquid as it cools.

6. Cover the dish with clingfilm and allow it to stand at room temperature for 2 hours before transferring it to the fridge for a minimum of 24 (but preferably 48) hours before cooking.

7. When you’re ready to cook the pudding, pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and bake on a high shelf for 30 to 35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy and the inside soft and squidgy.

8. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving with icecream/chilled double cream.

Cook’s notes

Now I come to think of it, this is sort-of convenience food. OK, You have to make it a bit ahead of time (I only managed 24 hours) but that bit of planning comes in handy because, come the day and the hour, all you have to do is shove it in the oven and forget about it for half an hour.