Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding


I had this idea a couple of weeks back after making the bread and butter pudding from the bake off calendar (I used baguette and it had blueberries in, was lovely). I realised yesterday that hot cross buns weren’t going to be in the shops for much longer…

Basically, it’s a normal bread and butter pudding, but with hot cross buns for the bread part and a bit of mixed spice to compliment.  I’m really happy with how it came out, lovely and warming.  Toni doesn’t like mince pies, but she immediately said this was better than the previous bread and butter pudding, so that’s score two for getting her to eat foods she doesn’t normally like (Score 1 being the Mince Lies)



  • Requires a deep (ish) 1l pie dish/ baking dish and a roasting dish you can place it in
  • Pack of hot cross buns (6 small ones worked for me)
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 200 ml milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Tear the buns into small pieces (about 1.5cm) and fill the baking dish with them.  They should pretty much fill it, but not overflow.  Eat any excess.
  2. Put the remaining ingredients into a wide-topped jug (we’re talking 700ml + here, and don’t try and risk it, jugs have a spout and can catch you off guard).  Whisk them together with a fork for about two minutes until well combined and slightly frothy.
  3. Pour the cream mixture evenly over the hot cross buns chunks.
  4. Push each chunk of hot cross bun under the surface of the cream mixture to make sure they’re nicely moistened
  5. Leave to soak for two hours
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
  7. Half fill a roasting dish with water and place the baking dish into in and then both in the oven for 1 hour
  8. Take the roasting out of the oven and the baking dish out of the roasting dish (and onto somewhere heatproof).  Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes then dust with icing sugar and serve (or enjoy cold later on)

Enjoy! I’d really like to hear if anyone else tries this and likes it 🙂


Mille Fail

So last weekend (the same weekend as the karting, I have a backlog of posts to make that I keep forgetting to make), I attempted to use up the rest of the puff pastry from Toni’s birthday to make Mille Feuille.

The recipe I followed was this one:

The picture of the best slice:

(This is mid-slide)

So, I learned three things

  1. After cooking the pastry, the slice in the middle will probably be the thickest, put this on the bottom, not in the middle.
  2. The best way is to make it in one batch, so 3 layers of puff pastry, all of the filling and then cut it later.  However, when cutting it, try and slice sideways rather than down, otherwise you lose all of your filling.
  3. If you do cut the pastry first, make sure it has time to cool, otherwise it will melt the custard and cream and slide straight off.

It looks even less fancy because of the lack of chocolate marbling on it, but having reached this point, I decided it wasn’t going to add to the flavour and it wasn’t going to make it look any prettier.

On the flip side, it was very nice.  The puff pastry was still lovely and buttery and the custard was divine.  All together it was a wonderful mess, but that was also part of the problem.  But yeah, I’ve got things to learn for if I ever try again.

Food Extravaganza!

So on Saturday and Sunday last weekend, I prepd and served Toni’s birthday surprise, a five course meal!  I actually did ten courses last year, so one could call me comparatively lazy, but more effort and care went into each dish than last year.

I also made homemade mackerel pate (Toni’s favourite) and homemade saffron bread rolls for breakfast, which is what I did last year (although with shop-bought pate)

First course were “Sole and Wild Mushroom Bouchées” (I didn’t know what the were before, that’s just what they’re called in the recipe book and they looked like a nice starter


(They did look a little better than this, but starting to eat them seemed like a greater priority than taking a picture)

One of the big things about these ones was I made my own puff pastry for them.  That whole thing that other recipes tell you about just getting it shop bought because it’s basically the same/better?  Complete lies!  The pastry was gorgeous and I’ve got some left over to make Mille Feuilles this week 🙂  So yeah, if you’ve got a day in advance to spend constantly taking some dough out of the fridge to roll it, fold it, it’s totally worth it.

Next up were smoked salmon scotch eggs

Nothing too special about these, although I’ve never really tried anything like them before and was impressed with how neat they came out (and Toni had no idea what they could be before cutting into them).  They were very tasty though.  This was a bbc food recipe you can find here

For main was my special chicken teriyaki recipe.


This is my own developed recipe and had some more authentic ingredients this time (I found mirin!) although it ended up tasting much the same.  Still, I’m yet to find a restaurant version that I prefer!

For pre-dessert, I had made a trio of sorbets, all tea flavoured!
This was what made the kithcne smell amazing on thursday, these brewing away in some bowls before I put them in the freezer.  From left to right they were Earl grey, green tea and chai.  The Chai one in particular was fantastic, although very sweet.  Definitely something I’ll try and make again.

Last up was the piece de la resistance


An Easter egg (yes, I know it’s not Easter yet, but they didn’t have any better moulds), with a slive of Buche de Noel inside (French Christmas log with chestnuts, yes I know it’s not christmas either).  This is tual a bit of a cheat picture as the one on the right is a separate slice (mine) as I tried to melt open the easter egg with a hot chocolate sauce, but basically just made a mess…

So that’s the fruits of a weekend of cooking!  Toni thoroughly enjoyed it and I enjoyed it myself as well (although probably the eating more than the baking).  I do need to get better at this whole taking pictures of food malarky though…

Mince Lies

So one of the few foods Toni doesn’t like, most of which seem to fall into “seasonal”, is Mince Pies.  To counter this, over the holidays I decided to try and come up with a mince pie recipe that she’d like, but still remained reasonably festive.  I present you, mince lies!


Look like mince pies, don’t they?  Well, they pretty much are, it’s only the filling that’s a bit different.  Instead of a typical mincemeat recipe, I made my own filling, recipe below:

  • 3 Cooking Apples, chopped into 1cm cubes (ish)
  • 70g cranberries
  • 6 Stem Ginger Balls, grated roughly
  • 2 Tbsp Stem Ginger syrup
  • 2 Tsp Mixed Spice

Basically, chuck all of the ingredients in a pan, keep stirring and simmer until most of the apple turns to mush (you still want a couple of chunks leftover for texture though).  Then, use it like pretty much any other mincemeat, make (or buy) your pastry, add the filling and bake them.

Despite the main base being apple, these don’t taste like apple pies at all.  You get a very warm sensation from them due to the ginger and the overall experience is very mince pie like without having quite the same flavours.  Toni likes them, so mission accomplished!