This weekend until Tuesday next week, the whole of Great Britain is celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth has been the reigning queen for 60 years. Although her face and persona has been regarded as an icon for being the queen, much is to be admired of her personal self Elizabeth.
No one can come up close to the queen but glimpses of her life has always been shown in film and put to writing. Despite the formality and elegance that her duty calls upon, there still is a sweet, warm person that comes to the front in her unguarded moments. She still is, after all, a wife, mother and grandma. She was part of a normal (albeit royal), loving family until her father reluctantly became king after her Uncle Edward abdicated the throne. A further twist of fate, the early demise of her father, made her a young queen at the young age of 25. How many people on earth would have a life story to compare to that?
Although the royals' taste for food are known to lean heavily on English traditional fare, I have decided to give the old favourite comfort pud a twist. We all know that England is a melting pot of many nations. Although the English recipes are still very much around, people's tastes have changed due to the influence of the foreign food that has flooded its shores.
Bread and butter pudding and tiramisu are sold side by side in English supermarkets. In this pudding, they have collided to make one dessert. Tiramisu literally means pick me up in Italian and the espresso and dark chocolate bottom in this bread and butter pudding gives just that. To add a further twist, I have used French brioche as the bread base that soaks in the vanilla and mascarpone custard. Crumbled amaretti biscuits adds crunch to the top of this soft pudding that sits on a puddle of mocha sauce. Nothing seems foreign in the end result as all the ingredients and flavours suit universal tastes.
1 400 gm. brioche loaf, sliced
1/2 c. hot, strong espresso
1/4 c. softened butter + extra for greasing and spreading on the brioche slices
1/4 c. of plain chocolate chips
2 tbsps. brown sugar
2 tbsps. marsala
1 c. fresh milk
1 c. mascarpone
1/4 c. sugar
3 medium eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. of crumbled amaretti biscuits
Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 180° C.
Grease a 2 liter rectangular baking dish. Spread each brioche slice with butter then slice on the diagonal to make triangular pieces. Set aside.
Put the hot espresso in small bowl and add the 1/4 c. of butter, chocolate chips and brown sugar. Whisk until all combined. Add the marsala and whisk to mix.
Pour this mixture on the greased baking dish. Arrange the brioche slices in a standing position, alternating the points to the right and left side. Leave this to stand in the fridge while you prepare the mascarpone custard.
Whisk the milk, mascarpone, sugar, eggs and vanilla together until smooth. Pour this over the arranged brioche slices. Press the slices gently to soak in the mixture. Leave for at least half an hour before baking.
Sprinkle the amaretti biscuit crumbs on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until puffed up and browned. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
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