This is a wholesome, tender, delicious, simply bursting with flavour, chocolate bread & fruit pudding. Inspired by memories of my childhood in Malta, where bread pudding was an occasional treat, which I relished. So here is a veganized and modified creation of this traditional Maltese pudding (known locally as ‘pudina’), with a twist, and a chocolate dance treat for your culinary pleasure. Enjoy.
TIP : For a decadent touch – serve with homemade cashew cream if you wish.
500 g bread of your choice – cut the hard crusts off, then weigh it, and cut the bread into 2” pieces (approx)
100 g moist, ready to eat figs, chopped (take hard bit from the top off)
200 g sultanas or raisins, or a mixture of both
1 L non-dairy milk – I used soya, as it’s rich and creamy – very apt for this pudding
150 g unsweetened desiccated (shredded) coconut
5 heaped Tbsp custard powder, or cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp brandy, or sherry (optional)
½ tsp nutmeg powder
5½ Tbsp vegan sugar of your choice (I used stevia)
100 g dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped into smallish pieces
5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (first mix this into a thick paste with hot water)
confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar) for dusting on surface (optional)
- Place your bread in a large basin, pour your milk over it, and mash it with your clean hands.
- Next, add the custard powder, the fruit and the rest of the ingredients, and again mash with your hands.
- Now wash your hands, and then re-mix with a wooden spoon until all has blended well.
- You will need a shallow ovenproof dish (mine was 11½” x 8” x 2”), and also a larger dish, that you will use for the bain-marie method. Here comes the trick – grease the smaller dish very well with vegan margarine, or oil, and add some greaseproof paper to the base of it so that it won’t stick. Now pour the mixture in, and even out the surface using a spatula.
- Fill a quarter of the larger dish with hot boiling water, and then carefully place your dish with the mixture into the larger dish. Then place in a pre-heated 400ºF (200ºC) oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven. In any case, bring it out of the oven to check on it after half an hour – poke a sharp knife in from the top, and if it comes out clean, it’s done. The surface should have hardened, and the inside should have solidified, but still be moist (it’s a pudding, not a cake after all). Turn the oven off, and then allow the pudding to cool down completely, before covering it (to retain its moisture), and refrigerating.
- Dust with powdered sugar before serving if you wish. Enjoy !
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