I went out with a friend for cocktails in TGIFs a few weeks ago. There’s a good selection with reasonable prices which I’d recommend trying. The Mango Mai Tai was my favourite, but their more unique cocktails like a shot that tastes like bubblegum or the Turkish delight or lemon meringue cocktail. I also saw an alcoholic Strawberry Shortcake milkshake that I have on my bucket list.
Yes, I’ll admit this at the start of the post. I am THAT girl who orders the fruitiest, sweetest drink on the menu because she doesn’t like the taste of alcohol and is drunk after half of it is gone. Well, more like 3-4 shots, but what can I say, I’m short and I don’t like alcohol. I don’t even like the taste of coffee. (Please don’t shoot me, but tea is so much better than coffee in my opinion…)
Afterwards it got me thinking, as alcohol is one of those areas that can be hard to fit in a balanced diet. Being drunk makes it harder to make healthy choices and often you can end up at McDonald’s at 5am in a ball gown waiting for the breakfast menu to open so you can order a glorious cheese filled sandwich that turns into sad disappointment when it is smaller than your palm. Really, no one else? Okay well maybe just me then, but the point is that alcohol clouds your judgement and makes it harder to make good choices .And also that it never looks like the picture. EVER.
So, while I mourn my disappointing ham and cheese toastie, let’s get back to alcohol. Alcohol has 7 calories per grams, which is a lot when compared to the 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates. This means that the Mango Mai Tai I raved about earlier contains about 400 calories, the same as a meal. Another problem is that alcoholic beverages don’t have calorie counts so it can be even harder to keep track of what you’ve had.
It has little nutritional value and our bodies see it as a poison to break down as fast as possible. However, alcohol also plays a large part in many social events and it can be hard to moderate when everyone else is drinking and having a good time.
Some good options to choose instead of cocktails can be shots with diet soft drinks or sticking to one cocktail and skipping any bar food. A few glasses of wine won’t kill you either, but the calories in them can add up without you realising it.
So now’s the part where I completely change topics and give you the recipe you’ve been waiting for, but please be patient with me for just a little longer. I swear that there is some relevance here.
Alcohol plays a part in some of my favourite flavour combinations, like rum and raisin. The sweetness of the raisins goes so well with the rum and I love things like rum and raisin ice cream. Another favourite of mine is rum and raisin pudding. Made with a combination of breadcrumbs and flour, it has the taste of rum, with the sweetness of the raisins.
As you all know by now, there is a grave problem in my household. It is an issue that everyone knows about and we all accept it as inevitable. That would be the case of stale and mouldy bread.
Yet again we bought more sliced bread and french baguettes. We used them for sandwiches and rolls, but alas it could not be forever. The demibaguettes went stale and we debated using them against burglars, but I then turned to the classic.
Unfortunately, we had raisins and mixed fruit, but no rum. What we did have was blackcurrant jam, milk and eggs and that’s all I needed. Thus, this beautiful pudding was born.
This bread pudding is sweet, fruity and full of jam. It has layers of bread soaked in sweet custard, chewy bits of dried fruit and little pockets of tart blackcurrant jam. It comes together to form a delicious treat and makes a small enough batch that you won’t have leftovers for days.
Breadcrrumbs sprrinkled over the top give it a delightful speckled pattern and the blackcurrant jam gives it a pretty purple colour.
The top does rise at the start, but it will come down once the pudding has cooled.
Fruity Blackcurrant Bread Pudding
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 226
Stale bread (1 demi baguette or 3 slices of bread)
- 250ml/ 1 cup
Low fat milk
- 30g / 3 tbsp
Brown sugar/ sweetener
- 6g/ 1/4 cup
Low calorie sweetener*
- 1/4 tsp
- 40g / 1/4 cup
Dried mixed fruit
1. Grease a small square casserole or pie dish and set aside.
2. Cut the bread into cubes and place in a bowl. Take some of the cubes and finely cut them or shred them into breadcrumbs
3. Mix together the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, sweetener and salt and mix until combined.
4. Mix together the blackcurrant jam and water together if your jam is quite thick.
5. Place one layer of bread cubes at the bottom of the pan.
6. Sprinkle with 20g of the mixed fruit and top this with 30g of the blackcurrant jam.
7. Place another thin layer of bread cubes or finely diced bread cubes and layer the rest of the jam on top. It can be dolloped on rather than being spread evenly over the surface.
8. Place the remaining bread cubes on top of the jam layer and sprinkle the rest of the mixed fruit into the cracks between the bread cubes.
9. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the pudding and then pour the custard mixture over the top.
10. Leave to sit for at least an hour, preferably 3-4 hours for the bread to absorb the custard, pressing down on the mixture ocassionally to allow the top to absorb the custard.
11. Once absorbed, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted.
12. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the top of the pudding has puffed up and the pudding is set. If the top begins to brown too much, then cover with a foil tent.
13. Serve immediately with an optional drizzle of warm custard, whipped cream or ice cream or save for later once cooled.
14. Leftovers will last for about 2-3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
Saturated fat: 1g
The nutritional information is for low fat milk, large eggs, french bread and using sweetener instead of sugar. The sweetener can be replaced with sugar or stevia if desired.
Blackberry jam can also be used as can another jam, but the blackcurrant jam adds a nice tartness to the pudding. It can be spread across evenly, but I like how it forms little pockets of jam when dolloped on. The water can be omitted, but I found it was easier to spread it as my jam had whole blackcurrants in the jam
To make lower in calories, use skimmed milk or almond milk in place of the milk and non-dairy milk can be used to make it dairy free.
I haven’t tried this, but to make this vegan 2 tbsp/ 16g of cornstarch can be used instead or another vegan egg replacer. I wouldn’t suggest any kind of fruit puree or nut butter for this though.