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Friday 4 July 2014

Let Her Eat Cake: Summer Berry Brioche Pudding

Ahh, the quintessential British summer berry PUDDING. What could be better than gorgeous, red berries mixed into a dessert with very little effort? Red berries combined with brioche and booze, that's what! 

This recipe is no bake, super easy to prepare with perfect for using up any soft fruits, and if you like, you can replace the brioche with going-stale white bread. It's a classic, but mascarpone and liqueur give it a bit of grown-up zing. It's a lovely pudding for a lazy, sunny Sunday.

Summer Berry Brioche Pudding
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Chilling time: 6 hours / overnight

You will need:
  • 600g summer berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants etc, fresh or defrosted
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp fruit liqueur, e.g. cassis or chambord
  • 1 brioche loaf
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
Make it!
  1. Wash the fruit and pat dry if necessary. Remove any stalks or stems. If using strawberries, set aside for now. 
  2. Place the caster sugar in a small saucepan along with 3 tbsp of water. Stir a few times, then allow to simmer for 1 minute or so.
  3. Tip the fruit and liqueur into the saucepan and stir together. 
  4. Simmer gently for 3 minutes or so, so that the fruit releases some of its juices but still retains its shape. 
  5. Strain the liquid into a separate bowl and place the fruit in another. Add the strawberries back into the fruit.
  6. Pudding, assemble! Take a small pudding basin (I used a pyrex bowl) and grease lightly. Line with two pieces of clingfilm, overlapping them in the middle and leaving plenty of overhang over the edges. 
  7. Slice your brioche loaf (if not already sliced) into thick slices and cut off the crusts. 
  8. Dip one whole slice lightly in the juice and press gently into the bottom of the bowl.
  9. It might be useful to experiment with cutting the pieces to fit first, before dipping them: I found that four whole slices around the edge, then four diagonally cut pieces of brioche all fitted together to line the sides of the bowl.
  10. Dip the slices in the juice and arrange. If you see any gaps, now's the time to fill them, but leave yourself enough slices for the top. 
  11. Mix together the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla. Add in the remaining fruit, saving a little. Stir together. 
  12. Spoon the mascarpone into the lined bowl, dolloping the remainder of the fruit into the middle, then covering with more mascarpone.
  13. Arrange the remaining slices of brioche on the top as before (I used one whole piece, surrounded by 4 triangles and squished the edges together). Spoon over enough juice to soak into the slices. 
  14. Bring the overhanging cling film up and wrap loosely. Cover with a small plate that sits inside the bowl, then weigh down with a couple of tins. 
  15. Place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 5 hours. 
  16. To serve, unwrap the cling film and invert the bowl onto a serving plate. Decorate with any remaining juice, fresh fruit, and a dollop of mascarpone...

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