I was invited to take part in the #BBSquareOff Dessert Edition Challenge and was so up for it when my parcel of sweet goodies arrived last week.
A beautiful hamper of fresh strawberries and cream, dark chocolate and almonds and a pack of BB Squares Brown Bread, along with a challenge brief to create a locally-inspired dessert using all of these ingredients, with the option to add two more.
I racked my brains to think of all the infamous South African desserts we have to salivate over and finally settled on a fruity version of bread pudding, which I definitely took to the next level!
South Africa adopted the ‘Bread Pudding’ as one of their traditional dishes after it was introduced to our shores by the British and there isn’t just one type of bread pudding in South Africa -there are several variations which can include apricots, or the traditional Cape Malay take on this dessert, which is laced with cardamom and cinnamon and dotted with raisins.
I wanted to make something that was easy for anyone to make, but I went to town with my supplied ingredients and chose to add mascarpone (a nod to my Italian roots) and blueberries as my additional ingredients, which the kids helped me measure out and prepare.
We had loads of fun making this and even more eating it – the gooey berries and melted chocolate were bubbling when we took the dish out of the oven and the smell was sensational – crispy bread tops, melt-in-your-mouth bottoms and a whole lot of decadence in every mouthful!
So here’s my recipe and if you like what you see, make sure to head over to the BB Bakeries facebook page on 23 November to vote for my dish to win!
I’m up against 3 other KZN foodies and a wildcard entry, so may the best dessert win!
STRAWBERRY & MASCARPONE BREAD PUDDING
1 pack of BB Squares Brown Bread
1 punnet of fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1 handful of fresh blueberries, washed
125g cream, whipped
125g mascarpone cheese at room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1.5 cups of full-fat milk
5 medium eggs
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 slab dark chocolate
Toasted almonds – for topping
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Fold the mascarpone, whipped cream, strawberries and lemon zest together.
Slice the BB Squares Bread into triangles and spread the strawberry/cream cheese mixture onto each slice, placing each into the baking dish, so that their point is facing up.
Roughly break the dark chocolate into small pieces and push in between the BB Squares Bread slices.
Beat the eggs, sugar and milk until frothy, add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and then pour over the BB Squares Bread slices.
Dot with blueberries and let sit for about 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the liquid is set and the top is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then top with toasted almonds and a light dusting of powdered sugar.
And just like that… almost all gone :)
If you want to give this a try at home, I’ve created a recipe card – just click and save to your desktop x