09 January, 2009

What do you do with a pandoro?

Italian food is wonderful. But pandoro is not one of the high points. They over sell themselves. Those pretty boxes, lovely pictures of huge cakes on the side, and then what have you got? A very dry sweet slightly orange flavoured sponge cake. So, if you have one of these, here is what to do with it, to turn it into pure bliss. Very British pure bliss. And for the guys at Cloudera, trust me, this is much much better than a doughnut.

Pandoro Bread and Butter Pudding (adapted from Tamasin's Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day-Lewis)

Bread and butter pudding is a British classic and a great way to make a pudding from leftover bread and store cupboard ingredients. And that pandoro you were given for Christmas.

I'm not quite sure how to convey the comforting, delicious, warming nature of this eggy, creamy, spongey pudding to you. Of course if you are British you know don't you? Except I am, and I didn't as I don't think I've ever eaten it before. That can't be true but I don't remember doing so and I've definitely never made it before.


10-12 slices of pandoro (you can use plain white bread or chollah)
enough unsalted softened butter to butter all the bread
3 eggs and 3 more egg yolks
120g/4 oz caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
300ml/ 10 fl oz full cream milk
300ml/10 fl oz double cream
a handful of sultanas soaked in water or sherry or rum to plump them up
extra caster sugar for the top (I forgot or couldn't be bother with this last but I'll add it to the recipe as it sounds good)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 F/ Gas Mark 4. Butter the slices of bread. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together thoroughly in a bowl. Split the vanilla pod down the middle and extract the seeds. Put the seeds and pod into a pan with the milk and cream and bring to simmering point. Pour the contents through a sieve onto the egg and sugar mixture and whisk until a little frothy.

Grease a shallow pudding basin. Cut the buttered bread into triangles and arrange in overlapping layers in the basin, throwing over the sultanas as you go. Pour the egg custard over the bread and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Put the pudding dish inside a roasting tin with boiling water halfway up its sides. (I forgot to do this too so I don't know if it cooked faster or what, but either way it was completely delicious.)

Poach for about 20-30 minutes. The custard will have thickened and should have mostly set. Remove the dish from the tin, scatter the sugar over it and caramelise briefly under the grill.


Mike Olson said...

Next company meeting is at Tom's house.

Anonymous said...

Pandoro is quite boring - panettone is so much better, but you need to eat it with a drink or it can be a bit dry.

Mike Olson said...

Tom probably told you that I made this recipe for the all-hands meeting at Cloudera yesterday. It came out quite well, I thought; biggest issue was that I made it the night before and had to serve it cold, as we have refrigeration but no oven at the office.

A few notes on adaptations to the SF Bay Area:

I used challah from Semifreddi's, a popular local bakery that specializes in cinnamon challah (the best possible French Toast on Sundays is made with Semifreddi's cinnamon challah). I made a separate batch with plain challah, to taste them side by side. I preferred the cinnamon -- nice addition to the creamy flavor of the pudding.

Caster sugar is not commonly available in the US. I put ordinary granulated sugar in the pudding -- since that's by weight, the proportions came out fine. I had to whisk for some time to dissolve it, but no other issues. I used confectioner's sugar to dust the top, and caramelized as suggested, but the uneven shape of the bread means that you can't caramelize the sugar evenly under the broiler, so you wind up with some powder and some glaze. A nice effect overall.

Thanks for sharing the recipe! Sorry you didn't get a chance to taste it. Thanks for sending Tom over for a bit. We'll return him in good condition.

RRRROSI said...

wow, sounds good, but our household is perfectly content with plain pandoro -- we absolutely LOVE it!

stupidgirl45 said...

thanks for posting this recipe - exactly what I was looking for as I've got half a pandoro going stale thought this would be a nice thing to make with it - perfect!!!

Am also now following your blog ;)