You know those nights, when you are driving home from work and you are wondering what you will have for dinner. There is nobody to cook for except yourself so there are no rules. I had one of those nights last week. I’d had a particularly crappy work day and I was on my way home doing a mental inventory of the food in the house, and I came to the conclusion that I needed butter. I already knew that I was going to embark on a theraputic baking exercise when i got home, but baking options become significantly limited when one is out of butter. Now I know there are loads of lovely vegan baking recipes online that would be suitable for such an occasion, but I wanted butter. I wanted creamed butter and sugar. And I wanted bread and butter pudding.
I watched this video on Joy the Baker’s website a couple of weeks ago, and it was doing the rounds in my head. I wish I had a baking buddy like that, what fun! And the Bourbon Bread and Butter pudding that they made looked simple, comforting and delicious. But I needed butter. It was 17:45-ish and the thought of driving any kind of distance in the traffic for a simple brick of butter was out of the question. So I sucked it up and drove past my house and onwards to Asda.
I live in Wythenshawe, in Manchester, England. Wythenshawe is not the greatest area of Manchester. It is not in the city which is nice, it is 5 minutes from work which is really nice, it is close to lots of lovely running routes which is really, really nice, but its not a great area. I can often forget that when just travelling between home and work and running areas, but when I go to Asda I am reminded of that. Asda is a supermarket, and the one here is… um… skanky. I am not a snob but going there – its ugly. Someone got shot in the street outside the Asda last year. I’m from South Africa so I’m not really bothered about that kind of thing. I mean, its no Jo’burg, but comparatively, for the UK, its not great. So you must understand how desperate I was for butter to brave that place.
But all was well, I didn’t get shot, I was not mugged by a hoodie, and I managed to steer around all the teenagers with their prams and cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. I came home with butter, and a few other bits and I was free to being my WRBBBP (whiskey raisin banana bread and butter pudding). Now I know that making and consuming pudding for dinner is against the rules. And if my mother could see me she would be horrified. But I didn’t care. I mean, whats the point of being a grown-up if you can’t occasionally have pudding for dinner??
This one is lovely. Custardy and soft at the bottom, and crispy and crunchy on the top, punctuated by sweet baked banana and my own little hit of rum infused raisins. Nyum nyum. Its filling too so one is not tempted to be over-indulgent with a too big bowl of pudding. The only thing I’d do a little different next time is possibly up the quantity of custard to bread ratio. I did not have a baking tray the specified size so I had to go with one I had that would fit, but the bread could have done with a little more creamy custardyness. I also had to use a good scottish whiskey as we do not get Bourbon in the UK. Or maybe we do I just don’t have a clue where to get it. Sorry Joy, I know thats probably a crime to you. I’ve never had Bourbon.
Whiskey Raisin Banana Bread and Butter Pudding
From Joy the Baker
10 slices of white bread, toasted and sliced in half diagonally
60g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar (brown sugar would also be great)
generous pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons good whiskey
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in 1 tbsp rum
2 bananas, sliced
2 Tablespoon granulated sugar, for topping
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
Lightly toast 10 slices of white bread and butter each slice. Cut each slice of bread in half diagonally. Layer bread slices in pan, butter side up so that the bread tips are pointing upwards.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and sugar, stirring until the sugar has just dissolved.
Whisk the eggs and pour the warmed milk mixture over the eggs while whisking the eggs thoroughly.
Add whisky. Pour the custard over the bread slices. Add banana slices and raisins to the bread pudding, placing them in between the bread slices and deep into the custard. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the custard is set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Let cool to room temperature before serving.