Having four days off in a row means that you can get up to mischief. Eating your body weight in chocolate eggs and hot cross buns is one way to pass the time. Seeing friends and family is another. The only thing that presents itself as a problem to me during this blissful four day Easter break is shopping. The stores are usually closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday so that means that even though I have two pantries full to bursting, I feel an almost warlike need to stock up on food. It's the mere idea that I _might _run out of food that causes a chill.
I stockpiled rations on the Thursday and the Saturday night shopping late so that we would survive the Cruel Winter ...I mean two days. I know it's silly and doesn't make sense but I did have Mr NQN's brother The Assman coming over and a picnic (weather permitting) to go to so I needed the rations. After all you can't feed guests just anything or bring something completely unfabulous to a picnic. I already had a good stash of chocolate already mainly bolstered by Mr NQN winning a gigantic Easter bunny at work as well as lots of eggs so I felt safe and comforted sitting upon my pile of goodies (and I'm sure you can picture me sitting on top of a mountain of food).
Then last week I attended a screening of Alice in Wonderland in 3D held by Lindt chocolate at the Gold Class cinemas. Anna's post here details the fantastic evening we had as part of the Lindt Lovers program. It was a bit like going business or first class at the cinema and I could feel myself getting rapidly used to the sinking, comfortable recliners with footrest and the food, drink and dessert being brought to us. Not only did we receive our own personalised eggs but we also received bags and bags of chocolates, both Easter and regular style and we left with bags aplenty wondering whether we'd get rolled for our stash. As for the film? I adored it and it was strikingly beautiful and captivating. It still stands true that one day I'd love to raid a Tim Burton set.
So with this excess of chocolatey goodness, I remember reading a comment from reader Lexia who said "My sister makes the most amazing hot cross bun and easter egg bread and butter pudding. She makes it with broken easter eggs and and I look forward to it every year. Im sure we break more eggs just to ensure we get some more." It was the kind of idea where I want to high five the person or even myself when I knew that I was going to make it. I had more than enough hot cross buns courtesy of my hoarding behaviour and enough chocolate from Lindt to cause a small riot (and it makes me wonder, has there even been a chocolate motivated riot?).
I couldn't wait for the picnic day to roll around. I would use my tried and true bread and butter pudding recipe, a simple one really, but I'd add cinnamon and nutmeg and soaked raisins to it. I took to the chocolate with a satisfying thwack with my rolling pin while conjuring up the most objectionable person I could think of (the hollow egg was satisfyingly head shaped) and whacked away with pleasure. Then I filled the baking dish with the buttered buns, the broken pieces of egg and bunny and poured the custard over scattering the soused raisins on top. I then covered it with foil so that the raisins and chocolate wouldn't burn and sat back and waited for an hour.
After 30 minutes the aroma crept through the house, then at 45 there was a persistent come-hitherness to it and by 60 minutes it was all we could do to fling open the oven and reveal the pudding in all of it's gorgeousness. I know brown things are notoriously hard to photograph but trust me in this pudding, it's gloriously eggy and soft and for Easter bun and chocolate lovers. And the finishing touch? While it was warm I sank some Lindor eggs into it to fill in the gaps and dusted it with icing sugar. The Lindor egg shell would melt when we sank a fork into it revealing a dripping, gooey chocolate yolk.
So tell me Dear Reader, how much chocolate did you eat over Easter? Were you restrained or uninhibited? And what exciting things did you get up to?
Hot Cross Bun & Easter Egg Pudding
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
4-6 stale Hot Cross Buns, sliced in half horizontally spread with butter
75 grams butter extra
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
100-200grams of broken chocolate Easter eggs (I used a Lindt milk bunny and 2 dark hollow Lindt eggs )
6 or so Lindor eggs (1 egg per person to avoid chocolate riot)
1 tablespoon icing sugar to dust
Step 1 - About an hour before you want to make this you can steep the sultanas in the milk and cream with the cinnamon and nutmeg added to it. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Butter a baking dish (I used a 31x18cm oval dish). Add the sugar to the spicy milk and sultana mix and beat in the eggs.
Step 2 - Arrange the hot cross buns on the dish - I try and keep a few whole so that the cross detail shows through. Lift the top of the buns and sprinkle in some of the chocolate so that there is a layer of chocolate on the buttered centre. Then sprinkle the rest of the chocolate on top. Pour custard on top carefully giving it a few minutes to soak in. You may not need the entire amount of custard, I had about 1/4 cup leftover but it depends on how stale the Easter buns are and these were fairly fresh.
Step 3 - Cover with foil and place on a baking tray to catch any drips. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Fill gaps with Lindor eggs while still warm and sift icing sugar on top. Serve with vanilla ice cream.