Darren McGrady makes a pudding that was Princess Diana’s all-time favorite, so much so that she once had a royal reporter write that “Darren makes the best bread and butter pudding in the world.” Follow this recipe and you can also enjoy this dessert that is a cross between a bread pudding and a crème brûlée.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Ingredients:
• 3 ounces raisins
• 1/4 cup amaretto
• 12 slices white bread, crusts removed
• 11/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
• 9 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to dust top of pudding
• 3 ounces sliced almonds, lightly toasted
• 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Method:
1. Soak the raisins in the amaretto, and leave covered with plastic wrap at room temperature 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 4 slices of the bread into 1/2-inch dice, and spread the diced bread on the bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle the raisins on top of the bread cubes, and pour any remaining liquid over the bread. Cut the remaining 8 slices of bread in half diagonally, and then cut each half slice in half diagonally to create 4 even triangles per slice. Dip the triangles into the butter, and arrange on the top of the raisins, overlapping the triangles slightly. Pour any remaining butter over the top of the bread.

3. Whisk the yolks, vanilla paste, and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat, and pour the hot mix onto the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warm egg mixture over the bread, making sure all of the bread is coated, and set aside the coated bread for 20 minutes to allow the egg mixture to soak into the bread.

4. Place the casserole dish in a roasting tray filled with hot water halfway up the sides of the casserole dish, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top with the filling just set.

5. Remove the dish from the oven and roasting tray, and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Broil or use a crème brûlée torch to caramelize the sugar. Sprinkle with the toasted sliced almonds, and dust with powdered sugar. Cool slightly, and serve warm with a jug of cream and some fresh berries.

[Makes 6-8 servings]