The same social mores do not apply in
“You look as if you have put on some weight! Your mom must have cooked all your favorite foods while you were home.”
“Your face is looking nice and round, are you expecting?”
“You’ve gained weight since I last saw you – now you are becoming an African woman!”
Over the past 20 months in
The logical, rational part of my brain reassures me that such comments are actually compliments on a continent where extra weight means that you are able to purchase plenty of food for your family. In fact, the women who run a craft collective where my husband volunteers recently boasted that, due to the success of their initiative, they had become “fat and fatter.” I’ve also noticed that remarking on a woman’s weight gain – real or not – after a holiday is a cultural courtesy, similar to the way people in the States would tell co-workers that they appear well-rested upon returning from a vacation.
I can’t wait to hear what people say when I come back from the Christmas break having gorged myself on Amarula bread and butter pudding with cinnamon custard.
Amarula is a cream liqueur produced in
Amarula bread and butter pudding is not a dessert for the faint-hearted, nor for the dieting, as butter, cream and sugar all appear in substantial quantities. It is a warm, comforting dessert – perfect for casual holiday gatherings – with a taste and texture reminiscent of French toast. If you don’t have Amarula, you can easily substitute Bailey’s or Kahlua.
Enjoy! And, if you eat too much pudding, hop on a plane to
Amarula Bread and Butter Pudding with Cinnamon Custard
Adapted from the Amarula website and Food and Home Entertaining, May 2001
50 grams / 3½ tablespoons butter, well-softened
8 slices of soft bread with a soft crust, sliced in half diagonally
50 grams / 1/3 cup raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
500 millilitres / 2 cups milk
375 ml / 1½ cups double cream
5 millilitres / 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs
200 grams / 1 cup castor sugar
125 millilitres / ½ cup Amarula
500 millilitres / 2 cups milk
2 cinnamon sticks
45 millilitres / 3 tablespoons castor sugar, or to taste
3 egg yolks
15 millilitres / 1 tablespoon cornflour
Icing sugar, for dusting
Use a little of the butter to grease a large, shallow, ovenproof dish. Use the rest to butter both sides of each piece of bread, and lay these pieces evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the raisins over the bread.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, cream and vanilla extract to a boil. (Watch the pot when it is getting close to a boil to avoid it bubbling over!) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and castor sugar. Gradually add the milk-cream mixture to the bowl, stirring constantly. (It helps to have a friend/spouse pour while you stir, or vice versa.) Stir in the Amarula.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Pour the Amarula mixture over the bread and allow it to soak for 15 minutes. Bake the pudding for about 40 minutes, or until it is golden and set, with just a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
To prepare the custard, pour the milk into a small saucepan, add the cinnamon sticks, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a film from forming. Remove the cinnamon sticks and take the pan off the heat. Whisk together the castor sugar and egg yolks, and then whisk them into the milk. Continue stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Mix the cornflour with a little water (about 1 teaspoon) to make a paste, and add it to the custard. Return the pan to the heat and cook over a low heat until the custard has thickened.
Serve the Amarula bread and butter pudding warm, with a dusting of icing sugar and a spoonful of cinnamon custard.
Note: Our electricity went out (for the third time in three days) while I was cooking the custard, so it is not pictured. And, Mark only had a chance to take one nighttime photo of the dish under lights. Alas, power cuts are one of the less appealing things about life in