My first bread pudding!

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It feels kind of wrong posting this now, on such a sunny spring day when I usually eat light summer food. The smell of cinnamon and baked apples, suddenly put me in an Christmas mood and (almost) longing for autumn! But there´s still a crispness to the air, which means that mornings and evenings are still cold, and best enjoyed with a sweet breakfast or dessert. Enter Bread Pudding!

Bread pudding is something that I´ve stumbled upon several times among my many English/American cookbooks, and certainly it´s been mentioned by Jamie and Nigella more than once when talking about comfort food. And I´ve seen pictures of this dessert-thing over and over, over the years. It always seemed intriguing to me, tempting in a comforting way, but not tempting in the way like chocolate, ice-cream, cheesecake or other desserts can do, so although I understood the concept and idea of this dessert, it never made it to the dessert table in my house, because of strong competition (and a chocoholic boyfriend). It wasn´t until a couple of years ago I finally actually got to try bread pudding, when me and boyfriend were eating out, and the menu was set, so no choices for us and no possibility to not choose bread pudding, if that should have appeared on the dessert menu. Luckily for us, it did, as bread pudding was the dessert on the menu that day and was served to us! Any other way, we would have missed out… We shared a mini loaf of bread pudding, and OMG, it was so extremely good! We scraped the bowl to get everything of the good stuff, and agreed it was the best thing on the menu that evening. Later, I got to thinking of baking this for myself and make my own version. Somehow, years went by, with no bread pudding being made. But a couple of days ago, a picture of bread pudding from my pie-book caught my eye. And a few days earlier I bought a sour dough bread which turned out to have ONE gigantic hole instead of the usually many few, making it difficult to use for spreads or fillings. So, what to do…? I don´t throw food, I get creative!

Croutons? Nah – boring. Plus, I don´t plan on having a salad where it could be used for the next days. French toast? Nah, that wouldn´t look good with that hole. But maybe something french-toast-like, like…. Bread Pudding! Yaaay! That´s what I´m making!

I´m glad I realized that this was an overnight project, because it´s oh so disappointing when your mind (sweet tooth) is set on something, and you don´t get it because “it needs time”. Since this was my first time doing this, i certaintly needed a recipe as a starting point. But since the recipe said 12-15 servings, and I´m only one (one person – though I definetely can take more than one serving…) I needed to adjust the amounts, and adding apple and the topping, I made my own version, and a very good one! The only problem was that I only had a family-sized baking dish, resulting in a not so tall bread pudding. But who cares – It´s my first bread pudding, cut me some slack. And besides, low height with a large surface equals more crispy topping!

Bread Pudding

120 grams sour dough bread

1 egg

50 g sugar

1 dl full cream

1.5 dl milk

1 apple

Topping:

10 g butter

20 g sugar

20 g oats

(Any white bread can be used, but I felt sour dough was perfect as the acidity balances out the sweetness. But if you want to go all in, for more sweetness, feel free to use whatever: toast-bread, brioche or leftover croissants or cinnamon-rolls, if such things exist!)

Instructions

Spray a 20×30 cm (9×13 inch) baking dish with nonstick spray.

Cut or tear the bread in cubes or chunks, and line your dish with one layer of bread cubes.
Cut the apple, and put it in a pan along with cinnamon, water and half the amount of sugar. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and spoon the filling onto the bread layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect, Just spread the apples about.Top the apple with another layer of bread and pack tightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
Pour mixture over the bread. Cover with foil and let chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.When ready to prepare, take bread out of the fridge and let rest on the counte.

Preheat oven to 150 C/ 350F.
Prepare the topping: Mix together butter, sugar, and oats. Spread over the top of the bread. Again, doesn’t have to be perfect.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until bread is fully toasted and eggs are set. Let cool for at least 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature, with cream, yoghurt or  ice cream if so inclined. Enjoy!

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Beetroot salad with pearl barley

I’ve fallen in love with beetroot. It’s actually good! Who would have known….Well, I didn’t. It’s a new aquintance in my life. Until now, my only beetroot-experiences have been limited to the pickled kind. And that’s never been a favourite of mine, so that was the end of that story, I thought. I was never really aware there was such a thing as raw beetroot. I didn’t deny it, I just never thought about it. Beetroot, to me, came from a jar. So I had to turn 28, move to Denmark and start studying nutrition to make this discovery. Beetroot exists! Even outside jars! Well, well. Better late than never. But now I have some catching up to do!

My very first meeting with this new love, was when we where making chocolate-beetroot cake for a happening at school. Needless to say, I was scheptical. But, the cake was lovely, and won me over once and for all. I’ll be making that again – healthy chocolate cake? yes please!

But, I couldn’t really taste it inside a cake, but when it appeared in a salad we got at a party, I decided to give it a go. And it was so good, and so much better than expected! Sweet, crunchy and gorgeous purple. From that point, it was official. I’m a beetroot lover! The following day I bought a 2kg bag of beetroots, that I’m still working my way through. I’ve already made this salad a couple of times, it’s so easy to toss together with whatever you have! Besides, it’s delicous and healthy, you can just feel it’s good for you. I love that. There’s really no recipe or measurements, but this is what I used today anyway! You could also throw in some avocado, that’s really good, and replace the pumpkin seeds with pistachios. And giving instructions aren’t really neccesary, but I do it anyway. For you. So greet your beetroot, and go ahead!

Barley Beetroot Salad
Beetroot
Pearl Barley
Spinach
Red onion
Red Cabbage
Fresh Coriander
Pumpkin seeds/Pistachios

Peel the beetroot and cut it in bite-size chunks.
Boil the pearl barley after instructions.
Cut the cabbage and the onion in rings.
And the avocado if you’re using that.
Now put a generous amount of spinach onto a big plate. Pour over the barley and vegetables. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly grounded pepper. Garnish with coriander, and serve!