Make an impressive three course meal for two on Valentine's Day using ingredients you already have. For the pudding, make hot and gooey apple-chocolate bread pudding. (I told you it was impressive.)
|Opposites attract, so avoid arguing over fruit or chocolate and have both. After all, it IS Valentine's.|
Apple-Chocolate Bread Pudding for Two
a hunk of stale bread (french stick is good but anything will do), cut into chunks
1 apple, peeled and chopped (or maybe some frozen berries, or perhaps a handful of raisins or other dried fruit)
1 egg (non negotiable, sorry vegans)
1/2 cup milk (or cream, or mmmmm maybe chocolate milk.....)
3 tbsp sugar, I used white, but use what you have, or honey or maple syrup.....
knob of butter, cut into small pieces
a handful of chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate or, I don't know, mini marshmallows...)
MAKE AHEAD: You probably don't want to be running around like a crazy person feeling harassed and frustrated on Valentine's Day. So get this ready before you pop your main in the oven, you could assemble it hours ahead, more time for the egginess to soak into the breadiness. Pop it the oven as soon as the quail comes out and impress your love with a heartwarming dessert.
Your oven will be nicely preheated to 350F from cooking your quail.
Butter two individual ramekins.
Stuff the ramekins full with bread mixed with the apple, and chocolate - save a wee bit of the chocolate to sprinkle on the top. Really jam it those ramekins.
Whisk together your egg, milk and sugar. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread giving it time to soak in, you may want to encourage this by pressing the bread down a bit.
Top with a few teensy bits of butter and reserved chocolate.
Place the ramekins on a shallow pan and bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving, to avoid comically blowing on each other through the first half of the dessert course.
'bou likes fruity desserts and I don't believe something counts as dessert unless it contains chocolate, whipped cream or meringue. With this pudding, I look like I'm being considerate of caribougrrl while giving myself a little chocolate valentine.
caribougrrl is always complaining (under the guise of teasing) about the British obsession with making dessert out of stale bread, but I think she's starting to get used to them. And for godsakes, I put an APPLE in it.
But don't kid yourself, the next time she's away I'm going to make this with chocolate milk and mini marshmallows. Just don't tell her...