Chocolate and Almond Bread & Butter Pudding

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Bread and Butter Pudding is a good old-fashioned frugal recipe, which uses up dry bread which would otherwise go to waste. The traditional recipe uses bread and butter, dried fruit, sugar, eggs and milk.

There are many little twists that can be made to this basic recipe; for this one I used Almond Milk instead of cows milk and mixed coco-powder in with the demerara sugar to make nice chocolatey layers.

Ingredients

  • Dry sliced bread (about 1/2 loaf)
  • Butter
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coco powder
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 or 3 eggs (I only had 2 which was fine, but 3 would have been better)
  • 1 pint almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.

Mix the sugar and coco powder in a bowl.

Place a layer of buttered bread in the bottom of your dish, as closely fitting as possible. Cover with a layer of the chocolate mixture and a sprinkle of raisins.

Repeat until you have at least three bread layers.

In a jug measure out a pint of milk and beat the eggs into it.

Pour the mixture onto the bread layers; all but the top bread layer should be covered. Add more milk if necessary.

Sprinkle flaked almonds and some nutmeg on the top and bake in the centre of the oven for about half an hour.

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Carrot, Lentil and Cider Soup

It’s time to use up the rest of the carrots before my next shop, so it’s soup time again! This particular pot of soup fed me for two meals.wp-1452710058423.jpeg

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion/ a couple of small ones
  • 5 carrots (approx)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • approx 1 cup of cider (I used some frozen home made cider; made into ‘ice-cubes’ in the same way as the turkey stock mentioned previously)
  • almond milk (you can substitute in any other type of milk)
  • seasoning

Method:

Peel and chop the onions and carrots and cook in some olive oil (just enough so that they don’t stick) along with the spices for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it and stirring occasionally.

Add the cider and cook on a medium heat for another 5 minutes.

Add the lentils and stock and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, adding more liquid if required.

Transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth, adding almond milk until the soup is nearly the right consistency. Pour the soup back into the pan, using some more of the almond milk to swill out the rest of the soup from the blender so you don’t waste any.

Bring the soup slowly up to temperature. Taste. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Leftovers Soup

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A family favourite  (apart from my sister who can’t stand the stuff) which is never the same twice. I always freeze leftover vegetables for this purpose and have recently made a habit of freezing meaty stock (often the extra liquid from my slow-cooker) in a silicone muffin tray, which can then be ‘popped’ out like icecubes.

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Tonight’s version used leftover roast potatoes from Christmas day, courgette, cauliflower and turkey stock.
The point of leftovers soup is that it uses up what you’ve got, so don’t worry if you don’t have all of the ingredients listed below. It is pretty important to have a base of onion and garlic but apart from that you can  experiment with different herbs and spices, I also rather  like to add bacon when I’m frying the onion if I have some. Note that if you use frozen stock it will probably be rather less salty than the bought stock which you are used to, so you may need to add more salt when you taste it.

Ingredients:
– an onion
– a clove of garlic
– a good pinch of mustard seeds
– a good pinch of cumin seeds
– stock
– paprika
– leftover veg, fully defrosted
– Almond milk (don’t worry if you don’t have this – any kind of milk will do)
– Creme fraiche

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Gently fry the onion, garlic, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the onion is becoming transparent turn off the heat and add the frozen stock (I used two ‘blocks’),  put a lid on the pan and leave the stock to melt in the residual heat.

Put your defrosted veg in the blender along with the onions and stock. Add Almond milk as you whizz it, continuing to blend until it is smooth and not far off the thickness that you would eat it. Return the whizzed soup to the pan, using some more milk to swill out the blender.

Slowly bring the the soup up to temperature,  trying not to let it boil. Add paprika,  salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a spoonful of Creme fraiche and a sprinkle of paprika on top.

… and enjoy because you will never have another soup quite like it again!
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P.s. I made some rather yummy soda bread to accompany it, but that’s a recipe for another day 🙂