Thursday, 26 June 2014

Nutella Bread and Butter Pudding - Yes, it's Gluten Free!

It's no secret that I love Nutella and that the only reason why I don't buy those ginormous jars of Nutella isn't because of price, but because it would mean I would need a whole new wardrobe. And who can be bothered with that. Everything in moderation, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, the point of this post is to share a recipe I've tested out a couple of times, and one that's perfect for those cool, crisp and wild wintery days. Nutella Bread and Butter Pudding! Minus the butter...and this version is gluten free. I was inspired to create this version when I stumbled upon this one. Read on for the list of ingredients and method:
It's not pretty, but it's pretty delicious!


1 loaf Gluten Free Bread*
1 jar of Nutella - be generous
400ml milk
600ml thickened cream
5 eggs
100g maple syrup**
dash of Marsala***
butter for greasing the baking dish

* I baked this loaf using Laucke Flour Gluten Free Bread Mix.
I also added the chocolate bits just in case the pudding wasn't chocolatey enough.
You can use store bought bread or your own bread recipe.


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan forced)
2. Grease a largish baking dish with the butter. Generally gluten free loaves are smaller than standard loaves, you will still need a large baking dish.
3. Spread a generous amount of Nutella on each of the slices of bread, then cut into triangles. Don't be tempted to cut multiple slices at a time as Nutella is very sticky and the gf bread crumbly. Be patient and slice each piece one at a time. Or maybe use a sharper knife...maybe my cutting skills leave a lot to be desired...

Don't skimp on the Nutella. Be thorough in your coverage.

4. Arrange the Nutella triangles in the baking dish. You can be as neat or as messy as you like. Overlap the bread if that's what's going to make you happy. Sprinkle that dash of Marsala over the Nutella triangles. Consume any leftover Nutella triangles that don't fit into the baking would be rude not to...

Pack those Nutella triangles in together!

5. In a pan, pour the milk, cream, dash of marsala (yes, another little dash), the maple syrup, give it a stir and heat. While you wait for the mixture to come to an almost boil, whisk together the eggs. Gently pour the egg mixture into the hot milky mixture, whisking the whole time. Remove from the heat, whisking as it starts to slightly thicken. I then poured this mixture into a jug, with a spout, then carefully saturated the Nutella triangles. I could have poured the mixture straight from the pan onto the Nutella triangles, but I would have made a mess and I would have spilt the mixture all over the bench, it would have dripped on the floor, I then would have slipped on it while reaching for the paper towels to clean the mess up. The doorbell would have rung at that very moment and my friends would have arrived and been shocked at the mess and the ruined dessert and would have probably returned to their car and would have gone home, upset that their afternoon of eating a yummy dessert had been crushed. I wouldn't have been able to cry, as everyone knows you shouldn't cry over spilt milk. So, bearing all this in mind, it was easier to pour the mixture into the jug to begin with. You may not need to do this if you're not as clumsy as me.

Ensure all the bread is soaked with this warm eggy mixture.
6. Place the baking dish into a larger baking dish and half fill that with water. Cover the dishes with aluminium foil and place into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Test at about the 15 minute mark. If the mixture has set, then by all means turn off the oven and let the pudding rest while you gather the biggest bowl you have and grab the double cream from the fridge. If it's still not set, then be patient but don't get too distracted - you don't want to dry out the pudding by overbaking it! Once the pudding is cooked, then serve with some double cream or ice cream and enjoy!


* There are quite a few gluten free ready baked breads on the market now, so you can choose from one of those. I've been baking some different varieties, but have found with a recipe like this one, sticking to a traditional style bread works best. Again, there are several gluten free bread mixes you can experiment with and I've had success with a few of them. I've also baked from scratch, but find these breads to be a lot heavier than traditional bread.
** You don't need to use maple syrup, you can use any sweetener of your choice. I tend to make this recipe for friends and so add the extra sweetener for their benefit. If you're trying to watch your sugar intake - which would be hilarious with a recipe such as this one - then eliminate the additional sweetener altogether.
*** Marsala is my dessert cooking wine of choice. You may prefer to use Kahlua or Frangelico or not use any alcohol at all.
Another note, you can make variations of this recipe - if you have a friend who, for example, doesn't like Nutella (is that even possible?  have you heard anything so preposterous?) (sorry P!!!) then butter and jam can be used. Sultanas or raisins can also be added, as per the original recipe that inspired this experiment.

I hope you try out this recipe, and if you do, then drop me a line and let me know how you got on with it. Do you experiment with recipes? What's your favourite Nutella recipe?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Here We Go Again...

Perhaps the full moon can explain the strange goings-on around me this week. Goings-on that have made me raise my eyebrows a few times, smirk just a little in amazement and slightly nod at the oddities. Whatever has caused the out-of-character behaviours, I will now be adding to them by posting on this blog once more - where I was so certain this blog would be in indefinite hiatus for reasons too boring to mention, I've changed my mind. When I spoke out loud to a couple of people about blogging, I realised that I missed rambling on about nothing and that not posting was more stressful to me than posting. Work that one out.

The pathway leading to the creekbed was littered with what seemed to be blueberries.
Lots of them. I wondered who would misplace so many blueberries.

So let me share here my photography project for 2014 --- 52 themed self portraits. I resisted for the first few weeks* until I realised that the photos fitting the themes had been taken by default and using my iPhone **. We are now in Week 12 and have to admit that I am actively participating in this project, and no longer reluctantly. The theme for Week 12 was "The Great Outdoors". Living in the Blue Mountains and surrounded by endless bushland gorges made this week's shot a no-brainer. Time was my only issue so I used the small window of time I had to seek out this quiet creek bed, set up the iPhone on the teensy little tripod I bought online, set the camera app to self timer and get into position without slipping on the mossy rocks. I discovered the interval timer on the app which meant I didn't have to run back and forth to the iPhone - what a win! To edit the shot, I used the Snapseed app and the Camerabag app - both pretty flexible editing tools.

In the midst of this week's chaos, disorder and busyness, "The Great Outdoors" theme was perfectly timed, much needed and much appreciated. Ahhh, feel the serenity!

* Aren't I getting a bit long in the tooth to be taking selfies? Yes, yes I am, and what of it?
** That's really the challenge here I feel, can I take 52 self portraits that won't look like quick grabs you would normally take when out with your girlfriends? Can I make them look "arty"?

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