The buttery brioche gives this dessert a velvety luxury topping, while the eggs and vanilla combine to produce a soothing finish to a meal.
5 slices brioche (from a loaf)
55g (2oz) unsalted butter, almost melting
a handful of sultanas, soaked in hot water
3 large eggs
80g (3oz) caster sugar
130ml (4½ fl oz) milk
130ml (4½ fl oz) double cream
1 vanilla pod, split, or ½ tsp
You will need an oven-to-table dish, approximately 16cm x 22cm, x 6cm deep (6 x 9 inches, x 2½ inches deep), well buttered, and a slightly larger dish in which it will sit in water in the oven (known as a bain-marie).
Preheat the oven to 200ºC, set to Convection, rack position D.
Boil a kettle of water, ready for use later on.
Cut circles of brioche using a wine glass, and repeat until you have used it all. Spread or brush the butter over the brioche slices and arrange in the base of the dish, buttered sides uppermost.
Drain the sultanas and scatter over.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Bring the milk, cream and vanilla to the boil in a medium sized pan and gradually add to the egg mixture, stirring well to amalgamate.
Pour through a strainer over the top of the brioche (which will float to the top). Place the dish in the larger one and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides.
Cook for 15 minutes, reset the temperature at 170°C and cook for a further 15 minutes.
When the pudding is ready it should wobble slightly in the middle, and feel spongy on the sides. Remove from the water and cool a little before serving.
If using a china or thick glass dish (as opposed to metal) you may have to cook for a little longer.
The water in the bain-marie should only steam, never tremble or boil.
Rinse the vanilla pod (if used), dry, and store for re-use.
Serve hot or warm, but not chilled.