This succulent chocolate bread and butter padding filled zoith apricots, almonds and sultanas or seedless raisins will delight the children. Try it hot or cold for a filling winter pudding.
1 teaspoon butter, softened
6 thin slices brown bread, crusts removed and liberally buttered
14 oz. canned apricots, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons sultanas or seedless raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 fl. oz. single cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz. dark cooking chocolate, melted
2 teaspoon rum essence
With the teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish.
Cut the bread slices into quarters and place one-third, buttered side up, on the bottom of the dish. Top with half the apricots, half the almonds, half the sultanas or seedless raisins and half the cinnamon.
Cover with a second layer of bread and top with the remaining apricots, almonds, sultanas or seedless raisins and cinnamon. Top with a final layer of bread, buttered side up. Set aside.
To make the custard, in a large heat-proof bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk or rotary beater. Gradually add the cream and sugar, beating constantly.
Place the bowl over a pan of hot water and set the pan over moderate heat. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly until it has thickened slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and the bowl from the pan.
Beat in the chocolate and rum essence until they are thoroughly combined.
Pour the chocolate custard over the bread mixture and let it stand for 30 minutes or until the bread has absorbed most of the liquid.
Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).
Place the pudding in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.
Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately, if you are serving it hot.