Friday, August 14, 2009

Savoury tomato bread pudding with basil cream

Logophile: LAW-guh-fahyl; noun:
A lover of words.

Nose deep in paperback books, with a hot chocolate or some other nondescript saccharine snack in one hand, was how I spent most of my childhood. I only ever used barbie dolls to act out scenes I'd read or written myself. My passion for reading helped me greatly in school, and now it is my favourite solitary indulgence, although I imagine I will love it even more as an activity shared with my children at bed time, or any time for that matter.

I must credit my mother for sparking my interest in literature. I looked forward to bedtime with the utmost ferventness. It would signal being tucked into bed with my mother picking a book from the shelf. My mother is a wonderful storyteller; her ability to portray each characters voice and inject absolute magic into each word delighted my imagination and was my favourite childhood experience. It wasn't long before I learned to read and set off on journeys myself, whether it was eating Moonface's delectable Honey Snap biscuits up in the Magic Faraway Tree or visiting the word marketplace in Dictionopolis from one of my absolute favourites, The Phantom Tollbooth.

I would also search out new words in the dictionary, adding them to my textual treasure chest. Instead of digging through endless pages, I get one new word emailed to me each day, just to get my fix.

My passion for food has also led me to discover new names for new ingredients never tasted. I remember 'Balsamic' was something I had not heard of until my teenage years when I tried it at an Italian cafe, needless to say I was hooked on the first bite. And whilst my husband had tried Balsamic Vinegar when we met, he had never tried it reduced, which we both prefer. There is just something about that sweetness with a large acidic kick that takes some meals above ordinary into wonderful. Especially when paired with its best friends tomato, bread and basil. An absolutely awesome foursome ;).

ease: 4.5/5.
prep time:
cooking time: 1hour (includes 45mins resting period, which is when I made the basil cream).
total: 1hour & 15mins.

taste: 3.5/5. I had high hopes for these little orange-red pudding which is maybe why they let me down a little in taste. The puddings needed another 10mins as I used normal muffin tins.

They were extremely soft and spongy. The first flavour you get is the sweet, vinegary balsamic (I highly recommend using a reduction/glaze as it is the only sweetness in this dish) followed by the incredibly strong thyme and basil cream and finally the tart, bitter tomato pudding. I would have loved some crunch as it is all incredibly mushy and soft, perhaps staler bread would have been better. It was lovely, but with that classic flavour combination I expected more, the bread could definitely use a little more tomato flavour. Perhaps a tomato tart tatin with the basil and balsamic accompaniments would have been better - with some goats cheese thrown in for good measure.
would I make it again: No - nothing special.

recipe: Savoury tomato & bread pudding with basil cream


  1. I love reading your blog! Your rating system is so clear and concise. I have your sweets section bookmarked : )