Happy Mother’s Day! We hope your plans involve fun, food and lots of love. This delectable Chocolate and Orange Bread and Butter Pudding recipe from Recipes for a Nervous Breakdown by Sophie White pays homage to Sophie’s own mammy and is perfect for the maternal figure in your life.
A food philosophy for the real world - where hearts get broken, cake gets eaten and food has a role to play in almost every occasion.
Bread-and-butter pudding is one of the first desserts that Herself* ever taught me to make. Herself has a sweet tooth that is so strong and dominating it practically holds her hostage in life. In all other things she is admirably moderate and abstemious but when it comes to dessert she is completely powerless. Her delight in sweet things is kind of childlike and most endearing, and this variation on the traditional bread-and-butter pudding is her favourite of everything I make. Any bread can be substituted for the brioche, or even leftover croissant (if there is ever such a thing). This pudding can be reheated in the oven.
*Herself: Sophie White’s mammy
butter, for greasing, and for buttering the brioche
1 small brioche loaf, about 450g, cut into slices
6 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g plain chocolate chips
crème fraîche, to serve
Place the unpeeled orange in a saucepan, cover it with boiling water and simmer for about an hour, topping up the water if necessary. The orange should be tender. Remove from the pan and set aside until needed. This can be done the night before.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Generously grease a 30 x 20-cm baking dish, then butter both sides of each slice of brioche. Put the eggs, cream, 5 tablespoons of the sugar, the cinnamon and the entire orange into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Arrange a layer of overlapping brioche slices in the prepared dish, sprinkle over half the chocolate chips, tucking some between the slices, and pour over half the egg mixture.
Arrange the remaining brioche slices on top, sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and pour over more of the egg mix.
Leave to stand until the brioche has absorbed the egg mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar and place in the middle of the preheated oven (on a baking tray in case of overflow). Bake for about 35 minutes. The loaf will puff up and the top should have a nice golden crust to it, while the middle will be set but still moist. Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Sophie White earned a first class honours degree in sculpture from NCAD before moving to New Zealand where she trained as a cook and learned to snowboard. After four years in the French Alps as a private chalet chef, she returned to Ireland to marry her boyfriend and spend time with her father while he could still remember who she was. In 2012, Sophie took up residency at the stove in Bibi’s Café, Portobello, and began writing her popular column ‘The Domestic’ for the Sunday Independent Life magazine, which chronicles her life as a hungry woman, wife, daughter and mother. She lives in Sandymount and has two children.