With ingenuity the Maltese have adapted this recipe from the English bread and butter pudding (Malta was once a British colony) and added an Arabic twist. Day-old bread is soaked in water and mixed with generous quantities of dried fruit, almonds and cocoa. Puddina is served in slices with black tea as an afternoon pick-me-up.
- 1 day-old loaf of bread
- 370 g (1⅓ cup) sugar
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 35 g (⅓ cup) cocoa
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 500 g mixed dried fruit such as sultanas, raisins, currants and chopped peel
- 250 g almonds
- 250 g glacé cherries, halved
- vanilla extract
- 80 ml whisky, brandy or sherry
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 15 minutes
Tear the bread into small pieces and soak in cold water for 15 minutes until soft.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Tip the bread into a colander and squeeze out the excess water using a potato masher. Place the bread in a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, custard powder, cornflour and cocoa. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the dried fruit, half the almonds and half the glacé cherries. Add vanilla to taste and the whisky, brandy or sherry.
Pour into a baking dish and decorate the top with the remaining almonds and cherries. Bake for 45–60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Serve in slices, warm or at room temperature.