Often served on Good Friday, this golden pudding consists of chunks of bread soaked in a sweet sherry mixture, and topped with queso Oaxaca, a stringy Mexican cheese that is similar to mozzarella.
- 625 g (2½ cups firmly packed) brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) Pedro Ximénez (see Note)
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100 g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra, to grease
- 2 x day-old baguettes, crusts removed, chopped
- 40 g (⅓ cup) pecans
- 50 g (⅓ cup) raisins
- 125 g queso Oaxaca (see Note) or mozzarella, grated
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 1 hour
You will need a 2 litre baking dish for this recipe.
Place sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seeds, cloves and 625 ml (2½ cups) water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reduced, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Transfer syrup to a large bowl, then whisk in Pedro Ximénez, eggs and butter until combined. Add bread pieces, turning to coat, and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
Add pecans, raisins and half the grated cheese to the bread and syrup mixture and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Grease a 2 litre baking dish with butter and add bread and syrup mixture to dish. Scatter with remaining grated cheese, place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.
• Pedro Ximénez is a dark, syrupy and sweet sherry with intense raisiny flavour, available from bottle shops.
• Queso Oaxaca is a white, semi-hard Mexican cheese similar in texture to mozzarella. It is available from Mexican food shops.
Photography by Chris Chen. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Food styling by Justine Poole.
As seen in Feast magazine, August 2014, Issue 34.