Delicious Cheaters’ Paradise
It’s the festive season, YAY! Now most of you, I’m sure are all over the festive recipe posts and all, but this one is for YOU and only you. For those who have painstakingly made, bought or eaten Diwali delicacies. For those of you who have promised yourself to start eating healthy post Diwali, and, for all of us who just need that ever essential “me time” post the festivities.
It sure feels good to have a house full of guests or to be a guest or go party hopping. But let’s face it, unless you are a diehard social butterfly, the excessive partying, entertaining and being entertained, usually kinda gets to you. I actually am quite a peoples’ person. But, at times that does get to me. I love having people around me, but, there are also times after an overdose of interaction, when I just wish I could escape to a place where it was just me and my indulgences (of course, most of my indulgences would include a statutory warning, and being broke), but just sitting with a delicious bowl of food, plonked in front of the television, in the most comfortable pajamas, can be quite the joy looked forward to.
I love hosting parties (not so much the dressing up, but the showcase of my culinary prowess gives me a high. Told you, I am pompous!). But after most festivals I find myself craving the “me” time without being judged (actually I am not even close to caring if I am judged). At these times, I love something simple, effortless (fairly) and soul satisfying, to complete the experience. And that is when I turn to my amazing brandy soaked, bread pudding or baked French toast (whatever names makes you feel less guilty). It’s gooey, it’s delicious, it’s fairly healthy and it is for keeps. Join me and make some to sooth those post festive blisters. Well, it’s easy but takes a bit of effort, but so do most prescribed beauty treatments. The point is to make you feel like you are in so called heaven, and gear you up for what’s yet to come. Here goes, the decadent, creamy and a tad guilty pleasure of my delight.
Bread – 8 slices (cut into 4s)
Brandy – 120ml
Brown sugar – ½ cup
Eggs – 3 nos
Milk – 1 cup
Cream – ½ cup
Salt – 1 pinch
Cinnamon or nutmeg powder – 1 tsp
Butter – to grease the baking tin
This one is fairly simple. The only time consuming part being creaming the eggs and sugar. So let’s start.
- Take a baking tin, and grease it well.
- Soak the bread pieces in brandy, until the brandy is well soaked.
- Line half of the pieces on the base and sides of the tin. Leave in the fridge to cool. At the same time also shove the rest of the pieces soaked in brandy into the fridge, we’ll need them soon.
- Take the milk, cinnamon/nutmeg and cream in a saucepan, ideally thick bottomed, and warm it.
- While that happens, take the eggs and sugar in a bowl, and beat them until the eggs and sugar are combined, and the eggs are a nice light brown yellow. Add the salt and beat well.
- Now, slowly pour the heated milk mixture, into the egg mixture while stirring constantly.
- Strain the mixture once combined.
- Take the baking tray out of the fridge, and add half of the egg mixture to the brandy soaked bread, rest it for about 3 minutes.
- Add the next layer of the remaining brandy soaked bread.
- Pour in the remaining egg mixture. Let it stand for 3 more minutes.
- Now, stick the baking tin into a pre-heated oven. Turn the temperature to 180 degrees for 40 minutes and start reading or watching TV.
- Once the 40 minutes are up, check the amazing pudding. It should be golden brown on the top and insert a toothpick, to make sure it come out clean.
- Once those steps are achieved, sit back, and enjoy a warm bowl of decadence. You could also add some vanilla ice cream for extra pleasure.
Tips and tricks
- Instead of cinnamon or nutmeg you can always use 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.
- If you don’t have an oven, follow the same process and microwave for 10 minutes on high heat, and you should be good.
- If you are vegetarian, use a cornflour slurry (2 parts cornflour, 1 part warm water, well beaten).
- If you want a non-alcoholic version, soak the bread in milk (though I can’t see the guilty salvation in that, but if cooking for kids, works.), use the same amount as the brandy mentioned.
- The oven has to be pre-heated for 10 minutes at 200 degrees before you can put the baking tin in, and then turn the temperature down to 180.
- Essentially, keep checking from time to time to make sure it’s cooked all the way.
- Lastly, you can make this in advance and store it in the fridge, and each time you crave a protein rich (and Shhh… creamy) indulgence, just heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds, if not, on a double boiler (covered) for 10 minutes, and enjoy.
So, there you go, good people, a perfect self-indulgence even in the middle of the night, with a horror film, or an awesome novel of your choice, to accelerate back into happy mode post the festive season. Do try it out and follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep yourself updated with sometimes guilty and most times guilt-free indulgences, just to take you closer towards the silver lining. Until next time…