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Rhubarb-hazelnut puddings with brown sugar-brandy custard

Warm pudding, chilled custard. Perfect.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 6
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  • 750 gm (about 2 bunches) rhubarb, coarsely chopped
  • 275 gm raw caster sugar
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange and ½ lemon
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean (reserve bean for custard)
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 250 gm melted butter
  • 125 gm brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 50 ml buttermilk
  • 200 gm plain flour
  • 50 gm hazelnut meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • To serve: chopped roasted hazelnuts
Brown sugar-brandy custard
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 gm brown sugar
  • 450 ml pouring cream
  • 150 ml milk
  • 30 ml brandy


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200C. Toss rhubarb, 150gm caster sugar, juices, vanilla seeds and cinnamon in a roasting pan and roast until tender (25-30 minutes), discard cinnamon and set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for custard, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl to combine. Bring cream, milk, brandy and vanilla bean to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then pour into yolk mixture while whisking continuously. Return mixture to pan and stir continuously until it thickly coats the back of a spoon (4-5 minutes). Strain into a bowl, cover and refrigerate to chill.
  • 3
    Reduce oven to 180C. Butter six 350ml shallow ovenproof bowls or ramekins, spoon a little rhubarb and syrup into each, then pour 60ml custard into each. Beat butter, brown sugar, rinds and remaining caster sugar in a bowl until pale (1-2 minutes), beat in yolks and buttermilk, then fold in flour, hazelnut meal and baking powder. Whisk eggwhites with a pinch of salt in a bowl to soft peaks, fold into batter, then spoon into ramekins. Bake until golden and centre springs back when gently pressed (25-30 minutes). Scatter with hazelnuts and serve hot with chilled brown sugar-brandy custard and extra rhubarb.