Bread and butter pudding is pure comfort. We like it with ice-cream - that combination of hot and cold is hard to beat. Prepare it ahead and have it ready to go in the oven when it's time for dessert.
- 400 ml milk
- 350 ml pouring cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 7 egg yolks
- 150 gm caster sugar
- 1½ small (650gm each) sourdough fruit loaves, unsliced
- 150 gm firm ricotta
- 140 gm dark chocolate (65%-70% cocoa solids)
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange
- Dutch-process cocoa, for dusting
- 1Bring milk, cream and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale. Add hot milk mixture, stirring to combine well, then cool (15-20 minutes).
- 2Cut ends off loaves and thickly slice bread. Cut each slice in half diagonally, then brush with custard to moisten. Arrange bread in a 2-litre baking dish, crust sides up. Pour remaining custard over the top and stand, occasionally pressing down lightly so bread absorbs custard (30-40 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 160C. Dot ricotta and chocolate over the bread, scatter with orange rind and bake until golden on top and custard is thick and set (30-35 minutes; cover with foil if top starts to brown too much). Serve warm.