Bread puddings are something that people often associate with being a stodgy, heavy and uninspiring dessert. The sweet bread puddings that I have made here are exactly the opposite. Crusty, wholesome, nut and seed-studded sourdough bread is tossed with tangy blackberries and a lightened-up custard featuring the flavours of Morocco – citrus, cardamom, rose water and cinnamon. Baked until golden and topped with a dollop of thick yoghurt and a sprinkle of toasted nuts and seeds, it’s completely hassle free, pretty on the plate, and simply delicious. I hope you like them as much as I do.
1/3 cup blackberries – fresh, or thawed if frozen
2 eggs – organic and free range if possible
1/3 cup pure maple syrup – do everything you can to avoid the artificially-flavoured stuff
1 cup milk
Thickly sliced seeded sourdough loaf – torn into small chunks
Zest of 1 mandarin
½ cup mandarin juice
½ tsp ground cardamom
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp rose water
1 tbsp hazelnut oil
2 tbsp light muscavado sugar
¼ cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
3 tbsp toasted buckwheat kernels
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt, to serve
Butter, for greasing
Preheat oven to 180C
Lightly grease 4 small ramekins
In a small saucepan combine mandarin juice, zest, cardamom. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the maple syrup and stir to dissolve. Next, add the cinnamon, rose water and hazelnut oil. Stir to combine and remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, fill each ramekin with the bread and blackberries, distributing the berries evenly between the four serves. Push down gently.
Once the mandarin mixture has cooled add the eggs, milk and cream. Whisk to combine.
Distribute the eggy mixture evenly between the ramekins. Sprinkle each pudding with ½ tsp or so of the sugar and pop them onto a baking tray and into the oven to bake for approx. 20-25 minutes, or until set and golden.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. While the puddings cool, combine the hazelnuts, buckwheat kernels and poppy seeds in a bowl and mix to combine.
To serve, top the puddings with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt, a sprinkling of the nut and seed mix and mandarin zest. Add a little extra drizzling of maple syrup if you have an especially sweet tooth.