Monday, 21 October 2013

Cake and Caching

Last weekend we left the Back Of Beyond and went to visit our friends in South Gloucestershire for the day. We get together 3 or 4 times a year taking it in turns to host and enjoy each others culinary skills. As Mr SG used to be a chef he often does most of the cooking at our weekend get togethers. This time Mrs SG made pudding, which she admitted she hadn't practiced before so we were her guinea pigs, and very lucky guinea pigs indeed! Her white chocolate and raspberry bread and butter pudding was fantastic, topped off with a trickle of double cream, and I was in food heaven. So much so that I had to get a picture and the recipe so I could share it here!

After the delicious lunch we decided to do a bit of Geo-caching which the SG family had introduced us to earlier in the year. Our initial reaction to Geocaching was lukewarm, but after a few goes during the long summer holidays (when we were looking for cheap activities to entertain Master Vander-Cave and some friend) we caught the bug and is very much on our to do list for free time fun. Geo-caching is like a treasure hunt using GPS and the internet. A "cache" is hidden, something small and innocuous looking, along with a log book(for people to sign to say they found the cache) and sometimes little treasures to collect or leave,then the cacher put clues and co-ordinates to where it is hidden on . When you find it, you log it on the website. Mr SG has become a Geocaching Jedi over the last year, finding a cache most days, and has even hidden a few himself.  He had selected three caches to find, all within a short walk of each other. We managed to find all three fairly easily (although one did require a 4pt bottle of water to access it), have a lovely walk and explore an area we wouldn't have visited if it hadn't been for the Geocaching.  I have to say I find it fascinating that this activity is going on all around the world and mostly you wouldn't think that someone might have hidden things, in a global treasure hunt, on your street or local park and that other's will be looking for these silly inconsequential objects just for the fun of finding them. And actually it is a real sense of achievement when you have searched for ages and finally find something that is almost hidden under your nose! So thank you SG family for introducing us to Geocaching and for such a lovely day. Hope to see you again soon!

White chocolate & raspberry bread and butter pudding
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
50 g butter, softened
250 g fresh or frozen raspberries
200g white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips
4 eggs
450 ml double cream
225 ml milk
125 g caster sugar
1 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling
cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve

Butter the bread and arrange four slices, buttered side down, in a single layer in a 20x25cm ovenproof dish. Scatter over half the raspberries and white chocolate, then cover with four more slices of bread, buttered side down again. Add the remaining raspberries and chocolate, followed by a final layer of bread, placed buttered side down.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the cream, milk, caster sugar and a pinch of salt, pour this mixture over the bread. Cover the dish with cling film and leave to stand for an hour, or in the fridge overnight – this will allow the bread to soak up the egg and cream mixture.

When you’re ready to bake the pudding, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the pudding, and then prepare a bain-marie. Place the pudding dish in a large, deep-sided roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the pudding dish. This regulates the heat in the oven and ensures the eggs don’t scramble.

Carefully transfer the dish and bain-marie to the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until the pudding is crisp and golden on top and just set in the centre – a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.